The type of brick and mortar store that USA Today says it "thought would never disappear," CVS is apparently having trouble maintaining a sustainable business model, and is thus making some major changes – changes that are costing the company roughly $135 million as part of what it's dubbed a "store rationalization charge."
Though the shutdowns only affect about one percent of CVS' roughly 9,600 stores nationwide, some suspect that this is a canary in the coalmine type of situation – meaning many more CVS stores could close in the future, based on current trends.
One of the CVS stores to be shuttered includes a 64,000-square-foot location in Springfield, Missouri, which was once described as the largest CVS in the world. Other locations slated for closure include four in Chicago, two in San Francisco, and two in Minneapolis.
CVS CEO Larry Merlo had previously announced back in November that his company plans to drastically reduce the percentage of square footage at CVS stores that's currently dedicated to selling retail products. This space will instead be used to offer more "health care services," he indicated.
One such "health care service" is the installation of "hundreds" of teeth-alignment shops, known as "SmileDirectClub," inside CVS stores across the U.S. CVS will also reportedly focus more on its "MinuteClinics," which provide "basic medical care" inside CVS stores.
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It's difficult to say for sure whether these CVS closures are a result of more people shying away from Big Pharma, or if it's just part of the general trend of brick-and-mortar stores giving way to online retail models that offer greater convenience.
There's also the monopolistic tendencies of Amazon, which announced back in 2017 future plans to enter the pharmaceutical retail business.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has made it abundantly clear that he plans to basically take over the pharmaceutical retail industry, which apparently has chains like CVS, Walgreens, and others scrambling to reinvent themselves in order to stay afloat.
"This is the problem with unbridled capitalism combined with quack science medicine: The mass poisoning of the people has become so incredibly profitable that every retailer wants a piece of the lucrative pie," warns Mike Adams, the Health Ranger.
"Watch for Amazon.com to soon start pushing psychiatric medications, deadly statin drugs, toxic chemotherapy drugs (modeled after chemical weapons), addictive opioids and the mass drugging of children for profit," he adds.
Last fall, CVS also purchased Aetna, a major health insurance company, as part of its "reinvention." This merger, as reports are calling it, which cost CVS $69 billion, is currently being challenged in court for allegedly violating antitrust laws.
CVS is reportedly trying to bar witnesses from testifying against the merger, calling their arguments "irrelevant." Those set to testify include the American Medical Association (AMA), the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Consumer Action, and U.S. PIRG.
"AMA opposes the CVS / Aetna merger because it will expand MinuteClinics' retail footprint, scope of services, and hours – to the great benefit of the public but to the detriment of traditional healthcare providers," the filing against CVS reads.
Plaintiffs are also accusing CVS of using its friend of the court status, also known as amicus curiae to "undermine a competitor rather than to offer any relevant analysis regarding the public interest."
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