Walgreens recently streamlined its in-house real estate department in a cost-cutting move. They also have brought in a Texas brokerage to handle key issues related to the company’s growing store portfolio.
The Deerfield-based pharmacy giant recently laid off about 16 in-house real estate managers and outsourced the work to SRS Real Estate Partners out of Dallas, a Walgreen spokesman confirmed in an email. SRS will develop on site selection and lease negotiations for new Walgreen stores, he also mentioned.
People who are familiar with the managers Walgreen fired, say many were company veterans who have worked for decades there. The move will contribute to the pharmacy chain’s plan to cut costs back by billions over the next few years.
The planned move, known as an inversion, might have saved the company over $4 billion over a five-year period.
“Our real estate managers can be proud of the work they did over many years to provide Walgreens with the best retail real estate footprint in the industry,” the company spokesman said in the email.
Founded in 1986 by football great Roger Staubach and one of his partners, SRS is now in the driver’s seat as Walgreen pursues an evolving retail-shop strategy that includes opening glitzy outlets with expanded merchandise selection and food in high-profile locations like the Magnificent Mile and across from the Art Institute of Chicago. Walgreen operated 8,309 retail store locations in the U.S. at the end of August, according to the firm’s latest annual report.
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