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Walgreens closing in-store medical clinics across Florida

The drugstore giant has already closed 14 of its VillageMD clinics, and the rest are expected to shutter mid-March.


  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 5:00 a.m. February 24, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Two more Walgreens stores have sold on the Gulf Coast, the latest in a string of the chain's stores to sell this year.
Two more Walgreens stores have sold on the Gulf Coast, the latest in a string of the chain's stores to sell this year.
Photo by Mark Wemple
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Walgreens is closing about 50 of its VillageMD clinics inside Florida stores next month, according to several industry reports.

The closings are expected to happen after March 15, but according to the company’s website, 14 of its 52 clinics in the state have already shut down, including ones in St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, Nokomis and Zephyrhills.

VillageMD and Walgreens did not respond Friday to a request for comment from the Business Observer.

But Walgreens employees reached Friday by the Business Observer at about a half-dozen locations across the state said they had heard rumblings about closings and were not accepting appointments for late March or beyond. And on the company’s online scheduling portal, only eight of the VillageMD locations in Florida had appointments available after March 15. Locations accepting appointments were in St. Petersburg, Spring Hill, Seminole, St. Cloud, Lutz, Wesley Chapel and two in Orlando.

In a statement provided to the industry publication Becker’s Hospital Review, a spokesperson for the company confirmed the closings, saying that “We are exiting the Florida market and our patients always remain the top priority.

“We are supporting our patients during this transition including giving them resources of where they can receive care, access their medical records and answer their questions.”

The company also confirmed the news to at least two other drugstore industry websites, as well as Healthcare Finance. In none of the stories did it provide a reason.

But the drugstore industry, which not that long ago saturated markets with stores, with two or even three sharing intersections, has been shutting locations across the country in recent years as competition and costs continue to rise. Just last week, CVS confirmed it was closing a Tampa store at a major intersection. And Rite Aid, a major chain in parts of the country, filed for bankruptcy in October.

Walgreens itself closed or sold several stores along the Gulf Coast last year.

Chicago Walgreens Boots Alliance bought VillageMD in 2021 for $5.2 billion. The locations are branded Village Medical.

According to Walgreen’s first quarter earnings report released in January, sales increased 10% from the same period last year to more than $36.7 billion.

 

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Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the deputy managing editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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