Walgreens -the largest drugstore chain United States said Thursday it plans to close about 200 of its branches in the United States as the largest drugstore chain in the country expands its cost reduction plan of 1,000 million dollars, which announced last August.
The company, based in Deerfield, Illinois, said it also reorganize its business operations and streamline its division of information technology and other functions.
It hoped that these measures add about 500 million dollars to its cost saving estimates in its three-year plan.
“After a thorough analysis, the company has identified new opportunities for cost savings,” the firm said Thursday.
The store closings represent 2% of the 8,232 pharmacies which handles US, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
The company spokesman Michael Polzin said Walgreens has not finalized the list of stores it plans to close. He said that the closures will be spread throughout the country.
The network said in a statement that its actions will lead to a “faster and agile company.” He said he expects the restructuring charges before tax of between 1,600 million and 1,800 million, as it implements the program.
The executive vice president and interim CEO Stefano Pessina said in a statement that it remains “optimistic as always” on the future of the company, but it takes work proactively to address challenges such as increasing pressure on the reimbursement for pharmaceutical products and competition.
The closures have become a growing trend in the retail sector to the growth of competition from online stores.