Health and Science

Walgreens cuts jobs at its US headquarters as drugstore chain slashes costs

Key Points
  • Walgreens lays off an undisclosed number of employees at its corporate headquarters.
  • A Walgreens spokesman declines to say how many jobs were cut.
  • The drugstore chain plans to cut more than $1.8 billion in costs by fiscal year 2022.
Pedestrians walk past a Walgreens store in New York.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Walgreens Boots Alliance has laid off an undisclosed number of employees at its corporate headquarters as the drugstore chain cuts costs, the company said Monday.

The company notified employees late last week, Walgreens spokesman Jim Cohn said in an email, declining to say how many people lost their jobs. The layoffs come as Walgreens plans to cut more than $1.8 billion in expenses by fiscal year 2022, up from the previously planned $1.5 billion. The Chicago Tribune first reported the layoffs.

The company made "select reductions" in its U.S. headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois, last week, CFO James Kehoe told analysts on a conference call discussing its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings Monday.

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Walgreens plans to close 200 US stores

"The additional restructuring is underway in our retail pharmacy international, and pharmaceutical wholesale divisions are also working hard to define our new vision," he said. The company has completed a review of its real estate footprint, he said, adding that Walgreens is shrinking and reorganizing its global digital and IT teams under a new chief information officer.

Cohn said the company was "modifying our corporate support office structure to drive organizational efficiencies and reduce our cost base, while promoting investment in truly differentiating capabilities."

He added that the cutbacks won't affect any store positions or locations. The company earlier this year announced it would shutter 200 Walgreens stores.

Executives addressed the cost cuts on the analyst call, saying the savings are necessary to invest in modernizing the drugstore chain.

The company rebranded the cost-cutting program internally to "Save to Invest to Grow."