Damage related to looting cost Walgreens Boots Alliance at least $75 million, offering a look at the cost of U.S. unrest for one of the nation’s largest retailers.
Walgreens said the estimate includes store damage and lost inventory through May, when the company’s fiscal third quarter ended, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Store closures during protests also hurt sales, the company said.
Demonstrations, most of which were peaceful, surged across the U.S. in May following the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Some were accompanied by looting. With about 9,300 locations in the U.S., Walgreens is one of the largest U.S. retailers by store count.
The company “continues to monitor developments and assess the degree of the damage and expects additional charges to be incurred in subsequent periods associated with these events,” Walgreens said in the filing.
Walgreens gave an unusually detailed assessment of the cost associated with the unrest. The retail industry is also grappling with unprecedented shutdowns and a sudden shift in consumer behavior following the outbreak of covid-19.
Shares of Walgreens have fallen 33% in 2020, compared with a drop of about 2% for the S&P 500 Index.
(c) 2020, Bloomberg · Angelica LaVito