Walgreens plans major expansion in Chicago

Deerfield, Ill. -- Walgreens is expanding its presence in Chicago, and adding 600 new jobs in the process. Under its new "Chicago Hometown Investment Initiative," the drugstore chain plan to expand its downtown office space, add new stores and remodel up to 142 existing units.

“Walgreens is proud of our historic roots in Chicago and pleased to take our presence in the city to a new level by bringing more jobs and contributing to the prosperity and quality of life here," said Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson. "We already employ more than 4,500 people in the city, and the additional jobs we plan to bring here will position us to serve community needs in new and better ways.”

Walgreens’ "Chicago Hometown Investment Initiative" includes three key components:

  • Expanded downtown office space: Walgreens will expand its downtown presence for e-commerce, information technology and other support areas. The retailer estimates the move will bring approximately 300 jobs to downtown Chicago.
  •  New and remodeled drugstores: Walgreens plans to open at least five additional stores in Chicago during the next two years, while also investing in remodeling many of its existing stores in the city. The new and remodeled stores, combined with expansion of Walgreens food oasis locations, are expected to add approximately 300 new jobs in the city.
  • Walgreens intends to quadruple the number of Chicago stores in which it provides expanded healthy food selections to serve communities identified as food deserts, or areas that lack access to basic foods necessary to maintain a healthy diet. In August 2010, Walgreens celebrated the opening of 10 redesigned stores on Chicago's South and West Sides to include more than 750 new food items, including fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen meats and fish, pasta, rice, beans, eggs, whole grain cereals and other healthy meal components. The company now plans to double the number of stores with expanded healthy food selections by 2012, and double the number again in 2013, to reach a total of nearly 50 food oasis stores.