Nov
19

Walgreen Guts Real Estate Department, Hires SRS

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Walgreen gutted its in-house real estate department in a cost-cutting move, bringing in a Texas brokerage to handle key issues related to the company’s growing store portfolio.

The Deerfield-based pharmacy giant recently laid off about 16 in-house real estate managers and outsourced the work to SRS Real Estate Partners out of Dallas, a Walgreen spokesman confirmed in an email. SRS will work on site selection and lease negotiations for new Walgreen stores, he added.

People familiar with the managers Walgreen fired say many were company veterans, some with more than two decades on the job. The move will contribute to a Walgreen plan to slash costs by $1 billion over the next three years, the spokesman said.

Walgreen is under pressure to find savings after deciding to keep its headquarters in the Chicago area rather than move it to a lower-tax country. That proposed move, known as an inversion, could have saved the company as much as $4 billion over a five-year period.

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