Walgreens is laying off 145 employees, mostly in its corporate workforce, a spokesperson confirmed to Retail Dive on Thursday. Those affected will receive severance and outplacement services, the company said.
In November, the drugstore retailer laid off 5% of its corporate workforce, capping off a year of hundreds of announced store closures, a previous round of layoffs and turnover in the C-suite. The latter included the departure of its CEO, CFO, CIO, chief medical officer and chief marketing officer.
In June, the retailer said it would close 150 stores in the U.S. and 300 in the U.K., part of a cost-cutting effort that targets at least $800 million in savings in 2024, for an accumulation of $4.1 billion in savings.
The company has a ways to go in that plan, however.
“While Walgreens continues to progress on reducing costs and delivering on our commitments to be the independent healthcare provider of choice, we still have significant cost savings and growth goals to deliver,” the spokesperson said. “To help us achieve these goals we have made the difficult but necessary decision to lay off 145 team members primarily from our corporate workforce.”
Last month the retailer slashed its dividend as it reported a fiscal Q1 dragged down by its U.S. stores, where sales fell 6.1%, and comparable retail sales fell 5%. At the company’s U.K. Boots locations, by contrast, retail comps rose 9.8% year over year, store footfall rose 7% and its retail market share grew for the 11th straight quarter, led by beauty.
Walgreens has also been working to build on its pharmacy operations to deliver healthcare services for payer, provider and pharmaceutical clients. But the retailer has experienced “growing pains” in its U.S. Healthcare segment, Tim Wentworth, a former Cigna executive who recently took the reins as the pharmacy giant’s CEO, said on an earnings call last month.
The unit reported sales of $1.9 billion in Walgreens’ first quarter, compared with $989 million in the prior-year period. But U.S. Healthcare still posted a $96 million adjusted operating loss, compared with a $152 million loss last year.
Emily Olsen contributed reporting.