Walgreen Boots Alliance raised its outlook for the year on Thursday and laid out its strategy to drive growth, after a stronger-than-expected fiscal third quarter.
Nevertheless, shares fell more than 6% on concerns about the slowing pace of Covid-19 vaccinations and doubts over whether the drugstore can execute its turnaround strategy.
The company is in the midst of a transformation led by its new CEO, Roz Brewer, former chief operating officer of Starbucks. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, drugstore chains faced a stiff challenge as online retailers like Amazon stole away sales of everyday items, like toothbrushes, shampoo, and pharmacy sales.
Brewer said she is committed to making investments needed to “build the pharmacy of the future.” She said many customers feel overwhelmed as they try to manage their care while juggling multiple doctor appointments and medical conditions. She added that Walgreens can help by offering simpler, personalized and digital solutions.
“The overall health-care space is sprawling and incredibly complicated,” she said. “So we must be laser-focused on the products and services that have the most potential and value that can be enabled with the most innovative technology, and that will be delivered at a level and quality that our customers expect.”