Walgreens to Host VillageMD Clinics in 500 to 700 Stores

Walgreens said primary-care provider VillageMD will staff and run primary-care clinics in 500 to 700 of the drugstore giant's outlets.
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Walgreens Boots Alliance  (WBA) - Get Report on Wednesday said primary-care provider VillageMD will staff and run primary-care clinics in 500 to 700 of the drugstore giant's outlets.

The agreement covers more than 30 U.S. markets over the next five years and includes a plan to create hundreds more clinics afterward.

“This rollout is a major advancement of one of Walgreens Boots Alliance’s four key strategic priorities: Creating Neighborhood Health Destinations,” Walgreens Chief Executive Stefano Pessina said in a statement.

The clinics "are a significant step forward in creating the pharmacy of the future, meeting many essential health needs all under one roof as well as through other channels.”

Most of the clinics will encompass about 3,300 square feet, with some as large as 9,000 square feet. They will use existing space in the stores.

Walgreens will invest $1 billion in equity and convertible debt in VillageMD over the next three years, including a $250 million equity investment to be completed Wednesday.

After full debt conversion, Walgreens is expected to own about 30% of VillageMD.

Crunchbase says VillageMD, Chicago, is an early-stage venture-capital firm that was founded in 2013. Last September, the site says, VillageMD raised $100 million in a Series B funding led by Kinnevik AB, the Stockholm investment company.

Walgreens is shifting its business model to focus on medical care, as it cuts costs and invests in new concepts. It has shuttered hundreds of stores and laid off thousands of employees.

Its aim is to switch its drugstores into health and wellness destinations. Walgreens prescription business is strong, but its retail segment has struggled.

Walgreens shares at last check stood at $43.29, up 2.5%. They have eased 1% over the past three months.