Walmart closing 51 health centers over lack of profitability

Walmart Health Virtual Care offerings will also end

Walmart on Tuesday announced the closure of all its health clinics and related telehealth services, citing a lack of profitability.

The Arkansas-based retailer said it decided to shutter all 51 Walmart Health centers and the Walmart Health Virtual Care offerings after realizing it wasn't a sustainable business model. The company opened the centers in 2019. 

"This is a difficult decision, and like others, the challenging reimbursement environment and escalating operating costs create a lack of profitability that make the care business unsustainable for us at this time," Walmart said in a statement.

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Shopping cart outside Walmart store

The Arkansas-based retailer said it decided to shutter all 51 Walmart Health centers and the Walmart Health Virtual Care offerings after realizing it wasn't a sustainable business model. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The retail behemoth didn't specify when the closures would take place, but it noted that it will announce the dates "as soon as decisions are made."  

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The company's 4,600 pharmacies and more than 3,000 vision centers will remain open. 

Walmart said it has been expanding the capabilities of its pharmacies over the past few years, including immunizations, testing and treatment services, access to specialty pharmacy medication and care, medication therapy management and a variety of health screenings. 

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More than 4,000 locations are in medical provider shortage areas, the company said. 

Recently, it added more than 200 Vision Centers under Walmart ownership and launched a suite of optical tools such as virtual try-ons. 

Walmart pharmacy California

A customer walks past the pharmacy during the grand opening of a new Wal-Mart Stores Inc. location in Torrance, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012.  (Patrick Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

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Walmart said that workers affected by the upcoming closures will be eligible to transfer to any other Walmart or Sam's Club store. Walmart said it will pay them for 90 days unless they transfer to another store within that time or leave the company. 

After 90 days, eligible employees that don't transfer or leave will be given severance.