1. News
July 28, 2016

Walgreens to close two online retail operations in US

American retail company Walgreens will discontinue operations of two of its websites, Drugstore.com and Beauty.com, in a bid to focus on Walgreens.com.

By Lopamudra Roy

American retail company Walgreens will discontinue operations of two of its websites, Drugstore.com and Beauty.com, in a bid to focus on Walgreens.com.

The closure of the websites five years after acquiring them for $429m shows how traditional retailers face challenges with online properties.

Based in Bellevue, Washington, Drugstore.com served as a distributor of drugs, vitamins and beauty products.

“Expanding on these efforts is an important part of our strategy.”

Earlier this year, Walgreens also sold Skinstore.com as part of the Drugstore.com acquisition, reported The Wall Street Journal.

According to a company statement, the plan to close the two sites by the end of September will record pre-tax charges of nearly $115m.

The decision is part of Walgreens’ larger aim to save $1.5bn in annual costs by the end of the next fiscal year.

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The cost reduction plan will help the retail company restructure and invest for its future growth, in order to better serve its customers.

Walgreens said in a statement: “Over the past year, we have been focusing on building new omnichannel capabilities on Walgreens.com with initiatives that improved assortment and website user experiences, enhanced our digital coupon capabilities to provide more customer value, and added digital tools into our stores to elevate our shopping experiences.

“Expanding on these efforts is an important part of our strategy.”

When Drugstore.com was acquired by Walgreens in June 2011, it had more than more than 60,000 products catering to the needs of more than three million customers, cited Geek Wire.