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Bloomberg reports that Walmart “is eliminating some jobs inside its U.S. pharmacy business as the world’s largest retailer seeks to reduce costs and adapt to an ever-changing health-care landscape … A person familiar with the decision said the pharmacy cuts will represent less than 3% of all health and wellness staffers in the U.S.”

Spokesperson Marilee McInnis characterized the moves as “aligning our staffing with the demands of the business.”

Bloomberg writes that “the move illustrates how Walmart is trying to balance its need to reduce expenses while expanding its business in key categories. Walmart has pharmacies in almost all of its 4,700 U.S. locations, and health and wellness accounts for 11% of its U.S. revenue.” The cuts also may mask larger ambitions: “While it hasn’t made a splashy move yet - such as acquiring a health insurer like rival CVS Health Corp. has done with its deal for Aetna - Walmart hired a new chief for the business last year and has made a series of smaller forays that show it’s interested in much more than the mundane business of filling prescriptions for Lipitor.”

Its ambitions also aren’t just confined to human beings: Walmart also is in the process of expanding the fleet of veterinary clinics that it will have in its stores, with expectations that it could be more than 100 by the end of next year.
KC's View:
I don’t think there is much question that at some point Walmart will make a big move in the healthcare/self-care business. It is too big an opportunity, and there is too much at stake, for Walmart to ignore it … or let someone else have it.