Walgreens will close about 40% of its store clinics as the drugstore chain has decided to reduce the costs and moves to other firms that it believes will attract more people to its doors.
The company announced Monday that it will close 150 Walgreens-run clinics by the end of the year, but will maintain no more than 200 clinics in collaboration with healthcare providers.
Years ago, pharmacy chains like Walgreens added small clinics that eliminate flu shots and treat relatively minor health problems like sinus infections. However, according to analysts, channels are struggling to make money from clinics facing increasing competition for telemedicine services that clients can use to access their smartphones.
Walgreens has focused more on testing primary care clinics that provide more comprehensive care and are connected to some of its stores in Kansas City and Houston.
The chain also works with other companies like the Kroger Co. grocery store to improve the food supply. Walgreens said Monday that starting in January it will also open 100 stores for weight-loss company Jenny Craig in stores across the country.
John Boylan, an analyst at Edward Jones, said the closing of the clinic is not financially relevant to the business and she hopes that the services Walgreens offers at its stores will change over time.
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. has more than 18,750 stores worldwide. There are 9,277 in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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You have reduced your total as part of a cost reduction plan. Walgreens faced challenges, including lower discounts and lower price increases for brand name drugs.
Pharmacies are also exposed to competition in areas outside of their online pharmacies like Amazon.com.
Walgreens announced Monday that the annual savings goal for 2022 for the cost reduction program would increase to $ 1.8 billion, instead of the previous goal of $ 1.5 billion.
Walgreens earnings decreased 55% to $ 677 million in the last quarter of the fiscal year 2019, in part due to the cost of the cost reduction program. Adjusted earnings were $ 1.43 per share.
Revenue increased 1.5% to $ 33.95 billion.
The results exceeded Wall Street’s expectations. According to Zacks Investment Research, analysts forecast average earnings of $ 1.41 per share and sales of $ 33.86 billion.
Boylan rated the room well, but not excellent. In a research report, he said that walnut sales were better than expected and should continue.
The analyst expects Walgreens to expand as health plans shrink the network of pharmacies they cover to lower pharmacy costs.
Walgreenslistens shares in Deerfield, Illinois fell 12 cents to $ 55.30 on Monday afternoon.
Shares fell 19% from the start of the year to the end of trading on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, to which Walgreens belongs, has increased by almost 16%.
Walgreens and Kroger remove e-cigarettes from the shelves as a lung disease related to vaping, and more than a dozen deaths occur across the country.