WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — CVS Health announced Thursday that hundreds of its stores will be closing nationwide as part of a strategy to make health care “more affordable, accessible and convenient for consumers.”

The company said it plans to shut down about 300 stores annually over the next three years as it adjusts to shoppers making more purchases online.

“Our retail stores are fundamental to our strategy and who we are as a company,” said Prem Shah, who was just named CVS Health’s first chief pharmacy officer. “We remain focused on the competitive advantage provided by our presence in thousands of communities across the country, which complements our rapidly expanding digital presence.”

The company said the closures will begin in the spring of 2022. While the specific locations have not yet been announced, the company said those decisions will be driven by its evaluation of changes to population, consumer habits and heath needs.

Moving forward, CVS Health will have three different store formats in an effort to best meet their customers’ needs, according to the company:

  • Locations dedicated to offering primary care services
  • An enhanced version of “HealthHUB” sites with products and services designed for everyday health and wellness needs
  • Traditional CVS Pharmacy stores that provide prescription services and an array of retail products

The company also announced that in addition to being appointed chief pharmacy officer, Shah will also become co-president of CVS Health’s retail business alongside Michelle Peluso, who will oversee front-store strategy and operations. Both will report to CEO Karen Lynch, who stepped into that role back in February.

Neela Montgomery, the president of CVS Retail/Pharmacy, plans to leave the company at the end of the year.