CVS shutting down two Rio Grande Valley pharmacies

HARLINGEN — Retail pharmacy giant CVS is closing 46 of what it calls “underperforming” locations, including stores in Brownsville and Rio Grande City.

The drugstore chain will shut down its location at 1454 Central Blvd. in Brownsville as well as the pharmacy in Rio Grande City at 5322 E. U.S. Highway 83. Overall, eight of the store closings are in Texas.

CVS Pharmacy has just under 10,000 stores nationwide, but company executives say they are focusing more on health care services rather than retail. CVS offers prescription insurance service CVS Caremark and is looking to expand in this and other areas.

The store closings will cost CVS about $135 million as a “store rationalization charge” against its first-quarter earnings, USA Today reported yesterday.

CVS executives have said they plan to reduce floor space for retail products and replace those with health care services. The company announced a week ago it is adding hundreds of teeth-alignment SmileDirectClub shops inside its current stores.

CVS will continue its strong presence in the Valley. It will maintain three pharmacies in Harlingen and four in Brownsville, with an additional 18 pharmacies farther up the Valley, mainly in the McAllen area.

Other Texas pharmacies which will close are located in Copperas Cove, El Paso, Katy, Newport, San Antonio and Spring.