In an effort to put more focus on its own e-Commerce web site, Walgreens will be pulling the plug on Drugstore.com and Beauty.com. The pharmacy retailer acquired the two web sites for $429 million in 2011. While the shutdown will reportedly cost Walgreens $115 million, the move is likely to help the retailer cut costs in the long run and to enhance its omnichannel strategies.
When considering the competition these pure-play web sites faced with the Amazon's massive marketplace and Prime advantages, it’s not surprising that Walgreens made the decision to shut them down. And it’s not alone. In January 2016, Target quietly nixed two online culinary companies it had acquired in 2013: CHEFS Catalog and Cooking.com.
"Over the past year, we have been focusing on building new omnichannel capabilities on Walgreens.com with initiatives that improved assortment and web site user experiences, enhanced our digital coupon capabilities to provide more customer value, and added digital tools into our stores to elevate our shopping experiences," said Phil Caruso, a spokesperson for Walgreens in a statement. “Expanding on these efforts is an important part of our strategy."
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