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A CVS Pharmacy in San Francisco. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

CVS Health said Thursday it will close roughly 900 stores over the next three years to reduce store density in certain locations around the United States.

Why it matters: It's a major revision of the company's retail model that comes in response to changes in population and consumer buying patterns. CVS Health said it currently has more than 9,900 pharmacy locations around the U.S.

What they're saying: The company said the closures were part of "its strategy of making health care more affordable, accessible and convenient for consumers."

  • "Our retail stores are fundamental to our strategy and who we are as a company," said CVS Health CEO Karen Lynch said in a statement.
  • "We remain focused on the competitive advantage provided by our presence in thousands of communities across the country, which complements our rapidly expanding digital presence."
  • The closures are set to begin in the spring of 2022.

The big picture: CVS Health also announced three new, standardized store formats, including its traditional pharmacy stores

  • One model will focus on offering primary care services, while another will be health hub locations "for everyday health and wellness needs."

Go deeper: The new generic insulin isn't as cheap as you thought

Go deeper

Brazen shoplifting schemes sweep the U.S.

San Francisco's Union Square. Photo: Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images

As the holiday season gets underway, groups of thieves have undertaken brazen shoplifting exploits at stores across the U.S.

Why it matters: Organized retail crime costs retailers on average $700,000 per $1 billion in sales annually, per estimates from the National Retail Federation, and companies are blaming store closures and profit dips on the shoplifting scourge.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.