Popular Pharmacy to Close 900 Stores Soon. Will Arizona Be Affected?
The Internet Changes Another Retail Strategy
The Internet has changed everything. There are few businesses that haven't seen at least some impact on the changes brought by internet commerce, from taxis to car dealerships, to all forms of shopping.
With a push from the COVID lockdowns, even healthcare has seen a shift. Many doctor visits and pharmacy-fill prescriptions have moved into the digital 'verse.
The latest retailer to reimagine their retail strategy is the popular pharmacy chain, CVS. According to CNBC, CVS Pharmacy announced plans to shutter nearly 900 outlets over the next three years.
What Will the CVS Business Model Look Like?
CVS is undergoing a complete retail overhaul toward what they're calling, a 'retail footprint strategy'.
CVS has been studying the way consumers shop, where shoppers are coated, and even the number of stores located within certain neighborhoods. CVS has considered local market dynamics. They're focusing on digital growth while turning their brick-and-mortar stores into what they're calling healthcare destinations.
Why the Sudden Shift for CVS?
There's a growing concern that with CVS Stores moving out of neighborhoods, they'll leave Pharmacy Deserts in their wake. Basically, locations with no access to much-needed, quickly-filled prescriptions, vaccinations, and the other services local pharmacies provide.
The decision was not made lightly. CVS is responding to the intense spike in shoplifting and rampant increase in crime, often aimed at their retail locations across the country.
According to a recent report, retailers lost nearly $80 billion to theft in 2022. That's a $13 billion increase in a single year.
How Will CVS Store Closure Affect Arizona Communities?
As of this writing, CVS Pharmacies has not announced how many stores it plans to close in Arizona.
There is a growing concern that store closures will increase Pharmacy Deserts or areas where people in certain Urban or Rural areas are underserved by access to a local establishment. The disparity goes beyond a simple radius between the pharmacy and the patient.
According to the Journal of the American Pharmacy Association (JAPnA),
"Using travel time and incorporating modes of transportation, we found that disparities in pharmacy access are more than just where pharmacies are located geographically. There are additional layers of disparities, such as access to public transportation, that need to be addressed to reduce the number of pharmacy deserts."
With many already underserved rural areas in Arizona, closing even one location could have a profound impact on some Arizona neighborhoods. In Gila Bend, for example, the closest pharmacy is located in Buckeye. 30 miles away.
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