CVS’ announcement Thursday that it will close 900 stores over the next three years — around 10% of its pharmacies — may have caught some shoppers off guard.
Isn’t CVS doing really well right now? Haven’t lots of people gone to drug stores during the pandemic to stock up on hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes and toilet paper? What about all those Covid-19 vaccine shots CVS gives out? Actually, CVS’ closures shouldn’t come as a surprise. They are the latest moves in the long-running contraction of the US retail pharmacy sector. CVS (), Walgreens ( ) and Rite Aid ( ) have been shuttering stores for years, while independent pharmacies have come under pressure from chains. Drug store closures can hurt local communities, creating access gaps for medications and essentials.