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CVS Plans 900 Store Closures, New Retail Formats

CVS Health said Thursday it would close 300 stores annually over the next three years as part of its strategic review of its retail business, starting in the spring of 2022. The Woonsocket, RI-based retailer is also creating new store formats and making executive changes to bolster its omnichannel strategy. 

“The company has been evaluating changes in population, consumer buying patterns and future health needs to ensure it has the right kinds of stores in the right locations for consumers and for the business,” CVS said in a statement. Accordingly, it’s reducing store density in certain locations, although the closures over a three-year period will leave it with about 91% of its current domestic store count of 9,952 locations.

“Our retail stores are fundamental to our strategy and who we are as a company,” said Karen S. Lynch, president and CEO of CVS Health. “We remain focused on the competitive advantage provided by our presence in thousands of communities across the country, which complements our rapidly expanding digital presence.”

In a bid to create higher engagement with consumers, CVS will introduce three distinct store formats: 

  • Sites dedicated to offering primary care services; 
  • An enhanced version of HealthHUB locations with products and services designed for everyday health and wellness needs; and 
  • Traditional CVS Pharmacy stores that provide prescription services and health, wellness, personal care and other convenient retail offerings. 

To help facilitate the shift to omnichannel as well as the integration of new store formats, Prem Shah has been named to the newly created role of chief pharmacy officer and will oversee the omnichannel pharmacy strategy, effective immediately. On Jan. 1, 2022, Shah and Michelle Peluso will become co-presidents of CVS Health’s retail business, with Peluso overseeing front-store strategy and operations.

Shah joined CVS n 2013 and is currently EVP, specialty pharmacy and product innovation. Peluso joined CVS in 2021 as EVP and chief customer officer.

“Prem and Michelle are ideally suited for their new roles and will be instrumental to CVS Health as we continue to execute against our strategy of delivering an integrated health care experience centered around the consumer,” said Lynch.


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CVS Health

About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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