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Walgreens to close 200 U.S. stores in 'transformational' move

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Walgreens to close 200 U.S. stores in 'transformational' move
The pharmacy chain did not specify which stores will close. File Photo by Billie Jean Shaw/UPI

Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Pharmacy chain Walgreens will close 200 stores across the United States, or about 3 percent of its locations, the company said.

Walgreens announced the closures in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday. It said the decision follows a "review of the real estate footprint in the United States."

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Walgreens said it anticipates minimal disruption and the majority of employees will be retained at other locations. The company did not specify which stores will close.

The new closures will raise the total number in the United States and Britain to 400. Walgreens said it will save $1.5 billion in annual expenses by fiscal 2022.

"We are undertaking a transformational cost management program to accelerate the ongoing transformation of our business, enable investments in key areas and to become a more efficient enterprise," Walgreens spokesman Phil Caruso said in a statement.

Walgreens closed 200 stores in 2015 and more than 600 Rite Aid locations when it acquired that chain. Walgreens said it also plans to close 119 of those locations.

Competitor CVS said in May it will close 46 stores and company officials warned more unprofitable stores could follow.

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