Walmart, CVS Health Adjust Pharmacy Hours Amid Labor Crunch

Walmart, CVS Health Adjust Pharmacy Hours Amid Labor Crunch

(Reuters) – Walmart Inc said on Friday it would adjust working hours for its U.S. pharmacy team and implement it nationwide in 4,600 locations, with drugstore operator CVS Health Corp doing the same for about two-thirds of its retail pharmacies, amid a tight labor market.

The United States has been experiencing a nationwide labor shortage since the COVID-19 pandemic which has forced retailers to offer attractive incentives and pay increases.

Walgreens Boots Alliance and CVS each raised their minimum wage to $15 per hour in 2021 while Walmart said last year it would increase the average pay of pharmacy workers to more than $20 per hour.

Earlier on Friday, the Wall Street Journal first reported CVS Health Corp and Walmart were cutting pharmacy hours.

Walmart’s pharmacies will be open from 9 AM to 7 PM, Monday through Friday from March, while the weekend hours would not change, a spokesperson for the company said. Currently, they are open from 9 AM to 9 PM.

CVS said the new hours of operation, which begin in March, at impacted pharmacies will vary, adding it periodically reviews operating hours to make sure peak customer demand was being met.

The company had 9,900 retail locations including pharmacies, according to a regulatory filing in February 2022.

Walgreens said in a statement that at times it had to adjust store or pharmacy hours at some places after staffing challenges impacted retailers and healthcare entities, among others, over the last 12 months.

(Reporting by Bhanvi Satija and Ananya Mariam Rajesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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