September 25, 2022

CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens store signs.

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CVS Health, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid stocks fell Wednesday on a report that Amazon may open brick and mortar pharmacies.

CVS stocks were down about 3%, Walgreens down nearly 4%, and Rite Aid more than 4%.

Amazon is considering pushing recipe sales further by opening standalone retail pharmacies or adding them to Whole Foods stores, according to a Business Insider report that named three anonymous people familiar with the matter.

According to the report, discussions are in the exploratory phase. If Amazon pushes the idea, it could take the company more than a year to start opening stores.

An Amazon spokesman said the company didn’t comment on rumors or speculation.

“Amazon Pharmacy is focused on making home pharmacy delivery easier and more convenient for customers,” the spokesman said in a statement.

The company has shown interest in expanding into healthcare in recent years. The company acquired the online pharmacy PillPack in 2018. It officially entered the business with Amazon Pharmacy last year. With this new service, customers in most states can get prescriptions from many insurers and have medicines delivered to their doorstep.

CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid have already been pressured by Amazon as more consumers buy front-of-store items like shampoo and toilet paper online. This disruption has led drugstore chains to look for other ways to encourage pedestrian traffic and increase sales. CVS is adding additional health services to its branches, from family doctor visits to sleep apnea screenings. Walgreens has focused on providing quick and convenient services such as roadside collection and home delivery. And Rite Aid has refreshed its stores with new signage and a different mix of products on the shelves.

Separately, Amazon announced plans on Wednesday to acquire MGM Studios for $ 8.45 billion to add more content to Amazon’s Prime Video business.