Walmart joins CVS in closing pharmacies early amid staffing challenges

Walmart plans to reduce pharmacy hours by closing at 7 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. at most of its roughly 4,600 stores by March.

Shorter hours at Walmart offer pharmacy workers a better work-life balance and best serve customers in the hours they are most likely to visit the pharmacy, the company said in a statement to USA TODAY.

"This change is a direct result of feedback from our pharmacy associates and listening to our customers," the statement said. "By positioning our teams in the hours where our customers say they want to visit our pharmacy, we are better able to deliver excellent customer service and support our associates as they continue to serve their communities every day."

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In this Nov. 5, 2020 file photo, a woman pushes a shopping cart to enter a Walmart in Rolling Meadows, Ill.
In this Nov. 5, 2020 file photo, a woman pushes a shopping cart to enter a Walmart in Rolling Meadows, Ill.

Some Walmart pharmacies already close before 9 p.m., which will become standard across the country after the change, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news.

Walmart's reduced pharmacy hours parallels move by CVS

The move comes the same day as CVS announced it planned to reduce thousands of hours – the latest indication of an unyielding pharmacist shortage.

Roughly two-thirds of CVS' retail pharmacies at its nearly 9,000 U.S. locations will adjust hours beginning in March, Amy Thibault, CVS Pharmacy's lead director of external communications, told USA TODAY Friday.

The new hours of operation at those pharmacies will vary, Thibault said.

Over the past few years, both CVS and Walgreens have also temporarily closed some stores due to staff shortages during the surge in omicron variant COVID-19 cases.

Contributing: Mike Snider

Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Walmart cuts pharmacy hours to lessen 'work-life' crunch, as CVS did