Walgreens plans to close 200 stores

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Walgreens plans to close 200 stores

Post by Super S » August 7th, 2019, 7:58 am

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/20 ... 937722001/

Like JCPenney recently, they are not releasing a list of closing locations. It will be interesting to see how this moves forward.

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Re: Walgreens plans to close 200 stores

Post by Knight » August 7th, 2019, 9:07 am

I have noticed stores that were open 24 hours have limited their hours to 0600 to midnight. Could stores with reduction in hours be the first to close?

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Re: Walgreens plans to close 200 stores

Post by Alpha8472 » August 7th, 2019, 11:51 am

Most Walgreens in my area close at 10 PM. It is hard to tell whether they are doing poorly just by hours. I have heard from employees that the ones that are open 24 hours are robbed all the time. Walgreens is so understaffed that homeless people just walk out with tons of stuff.

The 24 hour stores also attract lots of drug users. There have been tons of late night pharmacy robberies. Most pharmacies do not want to be open 24 hours. Robbers come from far and away for easy pickings. The pharmacy employees also do not like working the graveyard shift. It is scary. They need bulletproof glass to be open all night. It is out of control.

I can see why Walgreens wants to reduce hours. Many of these Walgreens stores are so poorly run and poorly stocked, that they are losing business to other pharmacies or even Walmart. Why pay more when Walmart beats Walgreens on price?

Also some of these Walgreens are in bad neighborhoods. The prescriptions are mostly from Medicaid patients and Walgreens loses money on these patients. Walgreens wants to dump those money losing stores that are being robbed blind. It is not worth it to run stores that are losing money. San Francisco has stores that are robbed daily by homeless people. Even CVS closed some San Francisco stores due to theft.

Walgreens has some stores on the same street just blocks away in San Francisco. It is ridiculous. This may be due to Walgreens buying all Rite Aid stores in the city.

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Re: Walgreens plans to close 200 stores

Post by storewanderer » August 7th, 2019, 6:53 pm

Alpha8472 wrote:
August 7th, 2019, 11:51 am
Most Walgreens in my area close at 10 PM. It is hard to tell whether they are doing poorly just by hours. I have heard from employees that the ones that are open 24 hours are robbed all the time. Walgreens is so understaffed that homeless people just walk out with tons of stuff.

The 24 hour stores also attract lots of drug users. There have been tons of late night pharmacy robberies. Most pharmacies do not want to be open 24 hours. Robbers come from far and away for easy pickings. The pharmacy employees also do not like working the graveyard shift. It is scary. They need bulletproof glass to be open all night. It is out of control.

I can see why Walgreens wants to reduce hours. Many of these Walgreens stores are so poorly run and poorly stocked, that they are losing business to other pharmacies or even Walmart. Why pay more when Walmart beats Walgreens on price?

Also some of these Walgreens are in bad neighborhoods. The prescriptions are mostly from Medicaid patients and Walgreens loses money on these patients. Walgreens wants to dump those money losing stores that are being robbed blind. It is not worth it to run stores that are losing money. San Francisco has stores that are robbed daily by homeless people. Even CVS closed some San Francisco stores due to theft.

Walgreens has some stores on the same street just blocks away in San Francisco. It is ridiculous. This may be due to Walgreens buying all Rite Aid stores in the city.
I was in a (clean, neat) Walgreens this weekend in a decent part of town and observed an individual stuffing their backpack with shaving items, baby formula, and various other items on the back set of aisles. I actually walked right past as this individual was putting some formula into their backpack and I looked right at this person's face and the behavior was just like any other shopper in a store taking items off the shelf and putting in a cart, etc. Completely unphased. Clearly has a lot of experience shoplifting and is very comfortable doing it. 4 employees were watching this individual from the end of the front aisle and did absolutely nothing (they have a policy to offer customer service, but I did not see that happen) but stand at the side of the aisle and watch. The employees have also been given "sensitivity training" to further stress the point that they should not profile customers but it ties into the whole "don't do anything to shoplifters" policy and that is the main point of it. Eventually the individual left, of course the security alarm went off, but they have a policy they cannot follow the shoplifter out or say anything as they exit.

5-10 minutes later I went up to this group of employees which was now down to a group of 3 and asked for a price check. The manager one gave me the dirtiest look then told me it is on the shelf. I said I think it is on sale and you don't have any tags up yet so I want to see if it is on sale. She sighed at me, very rude. The clerk said he would help me and went over to the register and did the price check for me and was pretty indifferent. I find it ironic, the manager is rude to me asking for a price check, perhaps taking their anger out over the shoplifter, on a paying customer. This is a real problem.

From a retail perspective, I think both Walgreens and CVS are in real trouble. Their front ends are terrible, pharmacies are notoriously understaffed, and they seem to be surviving mainly by forcing certain insurance customers to their pharmacies for prescriptions. Rite Aid is probably in real trouble too but I am biased as their store base in the west is executed better... and most of the locations I go to are in smaller towns which are fairly peaceful and easier to operate than some of these tough neighborhood larger metro area Walgreens or CVS Stores. Rite Aid closed most of the "tough" stores over the years.

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Re: Walgreens plans to close 200 stores

Post by steps » August 7th, 2019, 7:24 pm

storewanderer wrote:
August 7th, 2019, 6:53 pm
Alpha8472 wrote:
August 7th, 2019, 11:51 am
Most Walgreens in my area close at 10 PM. It is hard to tell whether they are doing poorly just by hours. I have heard from employees that the ones that are open 24 hours are robbed all the time. Walgreens is so understaffed that homeless people just walk out with tons of stuff.

The 24 hour stores also attract lots of drug users. There have been tons of late night pharmacy robberies. Most pharmacies do not want to be open 24 hours. Robbers come from far and away for easy pickings. The pharmacy employees also do not like working the graveyard shift. It is scary. They need bulletproof glass to be open all night. It is out of control.

I can see why Walgreens wants to reduce hours. Many of these Walgreens stores are so poorly run and poorly stocked, that they are losing business to other pharmacies or even Walmart. Why pay more when Walmart beats Walgreens on price?

Also some of these Walgreens are in bad neighborhoods. The prescriptions are mostly from Medicaid patients and Walgreens loses money on these patients. Walgreens wants to dump those money losing stores that are being robbed blind. It is not worth it to run stores that are losing money. San Francisco has stores that are robbed daily by homeless people. Even CVS closed some San Francisco stores due to theft.

Walgreens has some stores on the same street just blocks away in San Francisco. It is ridiculous. This may be due to Walgreens buying all Rite Aid stores in the city.
I was in a (clean, neat) Walgreens this weekend in a decent part of town and observed an individual stuffing their backpack with shaving items, baby formula, and various other items on the back set of aisles. I actually walked right past as this individual was putting some formula into their backpack and I looked right at this person's face and the behavior was just like any other shopper in a store taking items off the shelf and putting in a cart, etc. Completely unphased. Clearly has a lot of experience shoplifting and is very comfortable doing it. 4 employees were watching this individual from the end of the front aisle and did absolutely nothing (they have a policy to offer customer service, but I did not see that happen) but stand at the side of the aisle and watch. The employees have also been given "sensitivity training" to further stress the point that they should not profile customers but it ties into the whole "don't do anything to shoplifters" policy and that is the main point of it. Eventually the individual left, of course the security alarm went off, but they have a policy they cannot follow the shoplifter out or say anything as they exit.

5-10 minutes later I went up to this group of employees which was now down to a group of 3 and asked for a price check. The manager one gave me the dirtiest look then told me it is on the shelf. I said I think it is on sale and you don't have any tags up yet so I want to see if it is on sale. She sighed at me, very rude. The clerk said he would help me and went over to the register and did the price check for me and was pretty indifferent. I find it ironic, the manager is rude to me asking for a price check, perhaps taking their anger out over the shoplifter, on a paying customer. This is a real problem.

From a retail perspective, I think both Walgreens and CVS are in real trouble. Their front ends are terrible, pharmacies are notoriously understaffed, and they seem to be surviving mainly by forcing certain insurance customers to their pharmacies for prescriptions. Rite Aid is probably in real trouble too but I am biased as their store base in the west is executed better... and most of the locations I go to are in smaller towns which are fairly peaceful and easier to operate than some of these tough neighborhood larger metro area Walgreens or CVS Stores. Rite Aid closed most of the "tough" stores over the years.
In L.A. and specifically downtown, the security and LP don't play with shoplifters. I've seen LP and security numerous times at CVS actually stop shoplifters at the door and call them out. Majority of the time the shoplifter gives up the items and is banned from the store. Other times if the person gives them a problem, they will stall the shoplifter (yelling match) till the police arrive.

At Walgreens I've seen security fight a shoplifter over a stolen bottle of coke.

Riteaid, I've never seen any incidents, they have LP and security right at the door with camera monitors.

Off topic, Ralphs downtown has armed security, this has been going on for a couple of years now at least. They had a huge problem with alcohol theft. I've witnessed a person literally fill a duffle bag full of alcohol. Now, all alcohol is locked up (except wine and beer).

Downtown L.A. is full of homeless and

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Re: Walgreens plans to close 200 stores

Post by storewanderer » August 7th, 2019, 10:14 pm

There were a couple of Rite Aids in Sacramento area I knew of that had uniformed and employed by Rite Aid LP/security at the door at all times. Both of those stores closed early last year.

A store has to have a pretty high volume with an extreme amount of theft to support LP and Security. Here in Reno, there don't seem to be any CVS or Walgreens locations that warrant that on a regular basis. I don't think there are enough incidents and I don't think the store volumes are high enough. It is tough for these medium to low volume stores in less dense areas to pay these expenses. The Downtown Reno 24 hour Walgreens has a ton of locked shelves and a third party but powerless security guard on the overnight shift (no daytime security); that store has problems, but it is pretty high volume. That is also the last 24 hour pharmacy in this area. Another Reno Walgreens used to be 24 hours (isn't anymore) and despite multiple overnight robberies the company would not pay for security in it because it was "too expensive." The parking lot there does not feel particularly safe either, it is a store I always felt pretty uncomfortable going to late at night for some reason.

There is a 24 hour CVS in Sparks, but pharmacy is not 24 hours anymore and I'm not sure why the store is either (based on the looks of its in stock condition, they have major theft problems there). Not sure what the situation with security is there (none present in the daytime) at night as I haven't gone there late in years. I have also observed a bored looking Security after 6 PM at the CVS in Sun Valley (not present during the day), but never observed any incidents up there with the store. That CVS has short hours so I think something is up with it. It was a pretty high volume Rite Aid; Longs did okay with that store too, but it is really slow as a CVS. Dollar General and Dollar Tree opened since it became CVS; that may have cut into its traffic.

Some Smiths in Albuquerque have the armed security too.

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Re: Walgreens plans to close 200 stores

Post by TW-Upstate NY » August 8th, 2019, 8:52 am

I wonder if any of the acquired (but as yet renamed) Rite Aid stores are among this number or will it just be strictly Walgreen's bannered outlets. Speaking of which, that acquired Rite Aid store I mentioned a while ago as having the Walgreen's pharmacy closing did indeed close its doors shortly after the pharmacy shut down.

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Re: Walgreens plans to close 200 stores

Post by BillyGr » August 8th, 2019, 12:09 pm

TW-Upstate NY wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 8:52 am
I wonder if any of the acquired (but as yet renamed) Rite Aid stores are among this number or will it just be strictly Walgreen's bannered outlets. Speaking of which, that acquired Rite Aid store I mentioned a while ago as having the Walgreen's pharmacy closing did indeed close its doors shortly after the pharmacy shut down.
They have closed several stores in the area - some where they bought a Rite Aid that was fairly close to an existing Walgreens (and at least one where they kept the Rite Aid, renovated it to be a Walgreens then shut the existing Walgreens down) and at least one that wasn't near to an existing Walgreens but where there was another Rite Aid not that far away (maybe a mile or a bit more), they kept one (the newer freestanding drive thru store) and closed the other (the older in shopping plaza store).

No clue if those are being counted at all with this, or just closings from here on out. Seems it could be either their own or former Rite Aid locations, but less likely (I'd think) in general in this area, as there was much less overlap (with Walgreens not having many stores to begin with) and those that did have either been closed already or in some cases were stores that Rite Aid kept and did not sell (Central & 155, Clifton Park/Halfmoon come to mind with these).

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Re: Walgreens plans to close 200 stores

Post by Knight » September 10th, 2019, 10:02 am

Has anyone heard Walgreen's replacing stores with pharmacy only locations? I can think of two in Greenville, South Carolina, and Black Mountain, North Carolina.

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Re: Walgreens plans to close 200 stores

Post by Alpha8472 » September 10th, 2019, 10:47 pm

Walgreens has abandoned the front end in many of their stores. The prices are so high and the shelves are so empty that it would not impact sales much anyway.

The profit is made in the pharmacy, and Walgreens is too cheap to staff the front end.

Are these Walgreens near Walmart or Target stores? If they are, no rational person would pay more for what they can get at Walmart or Target.

Remember that Walgreens was thinking of opening up pharmacies inside of Kroger. The profit would come from the pharmacy and Kroger would supply the labor for the over the counter products outside of the pharmacy.

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