Struggling all through the pandemic, Walgreens enters the credit card enterprise

Walgreens desires to be in your wallet.

a group of people walking in front of a store: The Walgreens store at State and Randolph Streets in Chicago. ( Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune/ TNS.

© Nancy Stone, Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
The Walgreens keep at State and Randolph Streets in Chicago. ( Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune/ TNS.

The Deerfield-primarily based drugstore chain declared Wednesday it is launching its own Walgreens-branded credit history cards later on this yr, increasing into financial expert services as its core company struggles through the pandemic.


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The Walgreens cards, which will be issued by Synchrony on the Mastercard community, will consist of a branded credit card presenting funds benefits tied to the new myWalgreens shopper loyalty method.

The playing cards will also present added benefits at other retailers and company companies, such as accelerated benefits when procuring in the overall health and wellness class, the organization said.

Walgreens also strategies to roll out a pre-compensated debit card.

Walgreens president John Standley claimed in a news release the corporation options to introduce far more payment initiatives “in the in close proximity to future” as it appears to make new earnings streams.

The go into financial services comes amid broader adjustments at Walgreens Boots Alliance, which previous 7 days described a $308 million loss in its fiscal very first quarter as the drugstore giant carries on to lose company during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walgreens’ very first-quarter reduction was tied to a demand for the declared sale previous 7 days of its pharmaceutical wholesale business to AmerisourceBergen. The $6.5 billion hard cash and inventory offer is predicted to near in September.

Walgreens has viewed a dramatic fall in retailer traffic and pharmacy quantity, with continue to be-at-house orders adversely affecting retail profits at its 9,000 destinations in the U.S., and 1000’s a lot more globally.

The corporation reported final week it expects to see “higher adverse impacts” from the resurgence of COVID-19 in the second quarter, which include a weaker chilly and flu time thanks in component to ongoing social distancing actions.

Retail store targeted visitors might choose up in the months ahead as Walgreens and rival CVS Health and fitness are predicted to participate in a main position in administering COVID-19 vaccines as they develop into extra widely accessible.

“Walgreens will receive an allotment of vaccines from the state, which we will make offered by appointment in pick locations to the qualified populations,” Walgreens spokesman Phil Caruso explained Wednesday.

Beyond the enlargement into credit score cards, Walgreens has been evolving its business enterprise product by presenting extra solutions for prospects to choose up or acquire their buys. It has also sought to increase retail store visitors by shifting its retail emphasis to emphasize its beauty items.

In July, Walgreens declared CEO Stefano Pessina would phase down immediately after five several years at the helm of the drugstore chain. The search for his successor is ongoing, the firm reported Wednesday.

An Italian-born billionaire, Pessina was named CEO in 2015 after Walgreens done its acquisition of Alliance Boots, a Switzerland-centered pharmacy retailer. Pessina had been government chairman of Alliance Boots.

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