Walgreens invests in the future of retail

Gina Acosta
Executive Editor
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Walgreens is hiring approximately 300 new staffers to establish a new technology center in Chicago.

Walgreens says it is currently building space to host the new center of excellence, which will host much of the company’s retail pharmacy technology team along with the digital, mobile and e-commerce technology teams that currently work there. Walgreens says the new hires and other staff moves will double the number of employees working at its downtown Chicago office.

“We are excited to bring more technology jobs to the City of Chicago and establish a technology center of excellence that will focus on delivering state-of-the-art systems to our more than 8,000 drugstores nationwide,” said Alex Gourlay, president of Walgreens. “Chicago is where Walgreens began as a single drugstore in 1901, and expanding our downtown presence will help us retain and attract the best talent to continue developing our digital and technology capabilities.”

The news of Walgreens' re-commitment to retail innovation comes at a time when many retailers are shuttering their innovation centers. Target, Nordstrom, Best Buy and others have all pared down their investments in innovation projects. 

“Chicago and Walgreens have a long and shared history of innovation and ingenuity,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “That history makes Chicago the perfect city for Walgreens to locate 300 jobs and make an investment in its future.”

Walgreens operates 8,175 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with its omnichannel business,