Thousands of Walgreens pharmacies nationwide will go dark on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 23.
The company, which had a total of 8,701 stores in the U.S. as of Aug. 31, is closing most of its stores on the holiday. An exception is the approximate 700 Walgreens 24-hour locations, nearly all of whic will remain open “to help meet the healthcare needs of our customers,’ Walgreens said. This is the first time in Walgreens' history that its stores will closed on Thanksgiving Day.
In addition, a “small number” of Walgreens distribution centers and other sites will also continue to operate on Thanksgiving Day, including supply chain and centralized teams.
The move comes on the heels of walkouts in October by some pharmacists at Walgreens and CVS Health stores across the country. The employees claim that insufficient staffing has made for overwhelming work environments. It also comes under the leadership of new CEO Tim Wentworth, who took the reins Walgreens in October.
“We have consistently heard from our team members—who are the face of Walgreens—that time off is a meaningful way for us to demonstrate we value them,” said Tracey D. Brown, executive VP, president, Walgreens retail and chief customer officer. “We heard them, are committed to listening to their feedback and are dedicated to doing what is right for them. We hope they can enjoy the holiday and spend time with their loved ones.”
Brown added that the company’s change in operations this year is intended to acknowledge “the dedication of our store team members and leadership, pharmacists and pharmacy techs who are working incredibly hard to deliver great customer and patient care.”
“We’re grateful for all they do each day,” he said.