Walgreens Boots Alliance is reportedly planning to lay off 504 corporate employees, or approximately 10% of its corporate workforce, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Most of the layoffs will be at its Deerfield, Ill. headquarters or Chicago office, and no stores will be affected.
“None of these roles are based at our stores, microfulfillment centers or call centers,” said Marty Maloney, Spokesman for Walgreens in an interview with the Sun-Times. “We’re grateful for the many contributions by the team members who will be leaving our organization and are committed to supporting them as much as possible during this transition.”
Maloney denied that the layoffs are connected to the pharmacy retailer’s financial liabilities. The company recently reached a $230 million settlement with the City of San Francisco regarding the sale of opioids, though it “disputes liability” for the city’s opioid epidemic. It also is paying $4.95 billion over 15 years as part of settling nationwide opioid suits brought by states, local governments and tribes.
The layoffs are actually part of a series of steps being taken “to drive sustainable cost savings to help fuel investments for future growth,” according to an internal memo from CEO Rosalind Brewer seen by the Sun-Times. Other cost-saving efforts include “consolidating our Deerfield building office space, reducing consultant and contractor spending, eliminating non-essential projects, minimizing travel and canceling some events,” according to the memo.
Maloney confirmed the veracity of the memo to the Sun-Times. All affected employees will receive counseling and mental health services, outplacement support and severance, but the company declined to share the exact terms of the severance.