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Walgreens in workforce reduction— but not in stores, or DCs

Walgreens Boots Alliance is eliminating 504 corporate jobs.
Walgreens Boots Alliance is eliminating 504 corporate jobs.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is trimming its corporate headcount. 

The pharmacy retailer is eliminating 504 corporate jobs, with most of the cuts occurring at its headquarters in Deerfield, Ill.,  or its Chicago office. The layoffs represent about 10% of the company's corporate workforce. None of these roles being cut are based at Walgreens’ stores, microfulfillment centers or call centers. 

The layoffs come as Walgreens has been investing in, and expanding, its health care services. In September, Walgreens it would buy the remaining 30% stake in specialty pharmacy company Shields Health Solutions.  And in November,
Primary care provider Village MD, which is majority-owned by Walgreens,  agreed to buy Summit Health-CityMD in a deal valued at approximately $8.9 billion.

In in a message to employees that was obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, CEO Rosalind Brewer said that the layoffs are among a series of steps Walgreens  is taking “to drive sustainable cost savings to help fuel investments for future growth.”

“While difficult, these changes are necessary to streamline our business, unlock value and support our long-term growth,” Brewer said in the employee note. “Together, we will continue driving toward our vision to be the leading partner in reimagining local healthcare and wellbeing for all.”

For its second quarter (ended Feb. 28), Walgreens  reported a net profit of $703 million; sales rose 3.3% to $34.86 billion. The companyU.S. health care unit revenue jumped to approximately $1.6 billion from $500 billion. It ended the quarter operating 210 co-located VillageMD clinics, part of approximately 730 total locations inclusive of Summit Health, and 117 in-store Health Corners in Walgreens locations.

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