July 9 (UPI) -- Walgreen said Thursday that it's recorded a loss of nearly $2 billion as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and plans to lay off thousands of employees.
Walgreens Boots Alliance reported a third-quarter net loss of $1.71 billion and said sales fell short of expectations, mostly in its international division.
Walgreens said the pandemic has negatively affected sales to the tune of $700 million, almost entirely in non-U.S. businesses like its Boots chain in Britain.
"While most Boots stores remained open throughout [Britain's] lockdown ... our largest premium beauty and fragrance counters were effectively closed," Walgreens said in a statement. "More than 100 stores, mainly in high street, station and airport locations, were temporarily closed as were nearly all of the 600 Boots Opticians stores."
Walgreens responded to the losses by announcing plans to lay off about 4,000 workers.
Walgreens said last year it would close 200 locations in the United States, but said most workers would relocate to other stores.
"This unprecedented global crisis led to a loss in the quarter as stay-at-home orders affected all of our markets," Stephano Pessina, executive vice chairman and chief executive of Walgreens, said.