Fact Check

Is Walgreens 'Closing Forever in 2021'?

An internet ad lured readers with a misleading headline.

Published Feb 13, 2021

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 31: A person wearing a dinosaur costume walks out of a Walgreens in Times Square on October 31, 2020 in New York City. Many Halloween events have been canceled or adjusted with additional safety measures due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images) (Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)
Image Via Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images
Walgreens is "closing forever in 2021."

In early February 2021, a misleading advertisement circulated online that appeared to suggest that pharmacy chain Walgreens was "closing forever" in 2021:

But when clicked on, the ad lead to a page that didn't actually report that Walgreen was "closing forever in 2021":

Over the past year or so, Walgreens has been in a serious process of downsizing their company. It seems as though online pharmaceutical competition has hit them hard recently, and they just can’t compete with the big dogs any longer. In 2019, they confirmed that they would begin the process of shutting down 200 of its stores in the United States, and that is still ongoing today. This is still a blow to those who will see their local store closed down.

It's true that Walgreens closed 200 stores in the U.S. in 2019. As of August 2020, Walgreens had 9,021 stores operating in the U.S.

Snopes debunks a wide range of content, and online advertisements are no exception. Misleading ads often lead to obscure websites that host lengthy slideshow articles with lots of pages. It's called advertising "arbitrage." The advertiser's goal is to make more money on ads displayed on the slideshow's pages than it cost to show the initial ad that lured them to it. Feel free to submit ads to us, and be sure to include a screenshot of the ad and the link to where the ad leads.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more

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