Walgreens headquarters to remain in Deerfield

Newly merged drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance (NYSE:WBA) has announced that its international headquarters will remain in Deerfield, Illinois.

When Walgreens and Europe's Alliance Boots began merger talks last year, there was a possibility of the retailer relocating its headquarters to Switzerland and moving U.S. operations to an office in downtown Chicago. The two companies officially became one on Dec. 31, taking on its new name, Walgreens Boots Alliance.

"Being a United States-based retail operation based in Deerfield, it made sense to have all the offices in one place," Michael Polzin, Walgreens' VP of corporate communications told the Chicago Tribune. "It will allow us to be more efficient with our office space and communication within our divisions."

News of the decision first became public when the company sent letters to Deerfield residents informing them of a public hearing on April 23 that is slated to take place in front of the Deerfield Plan Commission, where the chain plans to request new signs and flagpoles for its headquarters. Deerfield has been the home of Walgreens since 1975.

Although the company's headquarters will remain in the United States, Walgreens Boots Alliance still wants to develop an identity as an international chain, CEO Stefano Pessina told analysts. The retailer will look to expand globally in countries such as China.

Walgreens announced last week that it would close 200 underperforming stores in the United States for a cost savings of $500 million. Prior to the merger, Walgreens had been aggressively building out U.S. operations, introducing new flagships and remodeling stores.

Although total restructuring costs are expected to fall between $1.6 billion and $1.8 billion, Pessina is still interested in more potential acquisitions and joint ventures. Pessina is temporarily acting as CEO and is filling in for former CEO Greg Wasson, who departed after the completion of the merger. Walgreens is still on the hunt for a new CEO.

For more:
-See this Chicago Tribune article
-See this Chicago Tribune article

Related stories:
Walgreens to close 200 stores
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Walgreens, WebMD launch rewards, prescription app
Walgreens shareholders sign off on Alliance Boots merger
 

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