Walgreens’ latest cuts affect 646 at Florida, Connecticut distribution centers

Walgreens closes two distribution centers to ‘streamline capacities to best support our stores’. Two large centers serving Walgreens retail stores, in Orlando, Florida and Dayville (Killingly), Connecticut, are closing permanently in May, with workers discharged on or before 17 May. Affected are 324 workers in Orlando and 322 workers in Dayville who according to Walgreens will receive severance, additional separation pay, on-site career fairs, and/or outplacement services. While workers in Orlando have a better employment situation locally with unemployment at 3%, Dayville, in northeastern Connecticut’s rural Windham County near the Rhode Island border, is up to 5%. WARN notices were filed in both states about 14 March. Crain’s Chicago Business, Becker’s 

Press accounts do not mention corresponding closures of Florida or New England Walgreens stores. The puzzle is that Florida, particularly central Florida, is a growing market with a permanent population as well as seasonal/tourism. Yet all 52 Village Medical co-located offices have closed in that state [TTA 22 Feb]. Reasons why range from too small co-locations unable to support full practices to lack of doctors and medical saturation.

Walgreens, after several quarters of losses, is cutting to the bone expenses, with layoffs, consolidations, and closures everywhere from their Illinois headquarters to VillageMD. Despite the $1 billion in cuts for 2024 announced last October, Mr. Market is not responding–Walgreens’ stock price continues its downward trend and has lost 15% sharply since January. The new CEO Tim Wentworth has already positioned Walgreens’ recovery as ‘not a 12-month turnaround story’. Walgreens, over the past three years, drilled a lot of holes. Some worked out well, such as Shields, but the $10 billion investment in VillageMD may be a dry hole.  In the strategic review he announced earlier this month, Boots may be on the block, not Shields, but there will be more and deeper cuts to come–if WBA’s closely held ownership agrees. Based on the distribution center closures, expect more closures of retail locations served by those centers to be announced. 

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