August 7 (UPI) – Walgreens pharmacy chain will close 200 stores across the United States, or about 3 percent of its locations, the company said.
Walgreens announced the closures in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. It said the decision follows a "review of the real estate footprint in the United States."
Walgreens said it expects minimal disruption and the majority of employees will be retained elsewhere. The company did not specify which stores would close.
The new closures will raise the total number in the United States and the United Kingdom to 400. Walgreens said it will save $ 1[ads1].5 billion in annual tax expenditures in 2022.
"We are implementing a transformation cost management program to accelerate the ongoing the transformation of our business, enabling investment in key areas and becoming a more efficient enterprise, "Walgreens spokesman Phil Caruso said in a statement.
Walgreens closed 200 stores in 2015 and more than 600 Rite Aid locations when it bought that chain. Walgreens said it also plans to close 119 of those sites.
Competitor CVS said in May that it would close 46 stores and the company's officials warned that more unprofitable stores could follow.