WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) - CVS Caremark Corp. will lay off roughly 300 employees nationwide, including about 150 at its headquarters here in Woonsocket, Eyewitness News has confirmed.
The job cuts will affect workers within the pharmacy giant's "non-store retail field operations, as well as our corporate functions," CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis said in a statement e-mailed to Eyewitness News shortly after noon Thursday.
"CVS Caremark continually reviews all operations strategies in each of its markets and facilities across the U.S. to further improve efficiencies within our business," he said. "As part of that process we have been looking for ways to improve productivity while reducing costs and maintaining customer satisfaction."
The employees losing their jobs are being informed by CVS's human resources department now, DeAngelis said. They will receive severance packages "to cover financial and health benefits, outplacement support and counseling," he said.
CVS has about 6,300 employees in Rhode Island, including about 3,450 at its corporate campus in Woonsocket, DeAngelis said. "CVS Caremark is committed to Rhode Island and we are proud to be part of this community," he said.
CVS Caremark was the largest for-profit employer in Rhode Island as of 2008, according to the R.I. Economic Development Corporation. The top employers overall were state government; Lifespan, the hospital network; the federal government; the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence; and Care New England, another hospital network.
CVS is scheduled to report its earnings for the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, next Wednesday. The company has been working since last fall to shore up its pharmacy-benefits management division after it lost more than $4 billion worth of contracts for this year to competitors.
CVS stock was down 1 percent, or 32 cents, to $30.52 a share at 1:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange trading. The company is No. 18 on the Fortune 500 list of America's largest public companies, with $99 billion in annual sales last year.
There were 56 CVS/pharmacy stores in Rhode Island and 335 in Massachusetts as of the end of last year, according to the company's annual SEC report.
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