CVS Health Corporation (NYSE:CVS) and Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) are cutting pharmacy hours as the leading U.S. drugstore chains come to terms with an ongoing pharmacist shortage, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
CVS (CVS) plans to cut or shift operating hours at about two-thirds of its 9,000-strong U.S. network in March, while Walmart (WMT) intends to close most of its nearly 4,600 stores two hours early at 7 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. by March.
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), the other major pharmacy retailer in the U.S., has previously said staffing shortages have led to cut operating hours at thousands of stores.
“By adjusting hours in select stores this spring, we ensure our pharmacy teams are available to serve patients when they’re most needed,” CVS (CVS) said in a statement. The company added that customers inconvenienced by a closed pharmacy could seek services at an adjacent outlet.
The strategy gives Walmart (WMT) to offer a better work-life balance to pharmacy staff and serve customers when they are most likely to visit the stores, a company spokeswoman said.
“This change is a direct result of feedback from our pharmacy associates and listening to our customers,” she added.
In October, Walgreens (WBA) said that the company management would no longer use task-based metrics to review the performance of its pharmacy staff in a bid to address labor issues.
Read: Despite short-term concerns, Walgreens (WBA) “is a good long-term investment,” Seeking Alpha contributor Daniel Schönberger wrote last week.