CVS Health is closing its roughly 30 hearing centers, as it experiments with new store formats and federal regulators write new rules that will allow hearing aids to be sold over the counter.
CVS spokeswoman Erin Pensa confirmed the closures to CNBC and said the company made the decision to close the centers because the hearing-care market has evolved since CVS started piloting audiology services in 2015. Hearing Health & Technology Matters first reported the news.
CVS is pivoting ahead of changes that could reshape the hearing aid market. Next year, the FDA will introduce regulations to allow hearing aids to be sold over the counter, eliminating the need for CVS to dedicate space in stores for audiologists to conduct hearing tests and fit people for the devices.
The company is experimenting with new store formats as its core drugstore business faces pressure from online companies such as Amazon. It's piloting HealthHUBs, which offer more health services, such as blood pressure testing and yoga classes.