You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Boston Official Says Walgreens Is Treating Black and Brown Neighborhoods Like 'Second-Class Citizens' Through Store Closures The City Council even passed a resolution asking Walgreens not to open any more stores unless the company postponed plans to close the three locations.

By Gabrielle Bienasz

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Bloomberg I Getty Images
Walgreens store.

Boston's City Council took Walgreens to task this week for closing three stores in primarily non-white, working-class neighborhoods, according to local TV station WCVB.

"For too long, corporate businesses have treated Black, brown and working-class communities essentially as though we are second-class citizens," councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson said in a statement, per the outlet.

This week, Walgreens announced it would close three pharmacies in Boston neighborhoods Hyde Park, Nubian Square, and Mattapan. It will leave people in those areas in a "pharmacy desert," NBC Boston wrote.

It is likely part of an ongoing strategy by Walgreens and competitor CVS to shutter retail locations, even as both chains get further into providing clinical care. In November 2021, CVS announced it would shut down 900 stores over a three-year period because of shifting consumer spending habits.

In 2019, Walgreens announced it would close some 200 stores. Economic headwinds this year could even have sped up some such plans.

But it still leaves people who need prescriptions in the lurch. "There's not one locally to where I live so it would mean going across town to Quincy," Kiera Mahoney of Mattapan told NBC Boston.

"In the Black neighborhood, they are just closing everything. Some of us [don't] have transportation, some of us have to look for transportation now, especially the elderly, and I am elderly," Ernell Trench, a senior living in the neighborhood, told WCVB.

The pharmacies were closed in areas that are "overwhelmingly Black and Hispanic communities," according to The Boston Globe.

Walgreens did not reply immediately to a request for comment but said in a statement to WCVB that wants to create "the right network of stores in the right locations."

"When faced with the difficult task of closing a particular location, several factors are taken into account, including things like the dynamics of the local market and changes in the buying habits of our patients and customers, for example," the company added.

The Boston council passed a (non-binding) resolution that asked Walgreens not to open any more stores in the area unless it delayed closing these three locations.

"What is occurring here seems to be a present-day manifestation of the embedded economic inequality that we still suffer from," Fernandes Anderson also said.

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.


Former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Says 2 Things She Learned in the Military Made Her a Better Leader — and Reveals How to Have Productive Conversations When You Disagree

Gabbard shares her thoughts on the importance of service, open-mindedness and prioritizing people's well-being over political agendas.


I Built a $1 Million Business While Overcoming a Disability — Here's How I Did It

When facing struggles and setbacks, dream big, embrace your true self, and disregard any limits others impose on you. Ultimately, what truly counts is the effort you put into achieving your goals.

Real Estate

Don't Believe the Real Estate Hype — Understand the New Rules About How You Can Buy and Sell Your House

Real estate investor and entrepreneur Paul Morris breaks down the truth inside the $418 million National Association of Realtors settlement.


This Trauma Doctor Has Seen It All — And in Moments of Failure, He Shares The 2 Things That Help Him Start Again

Here's how an ER doctor grapples with loss, failure and persistence — and how you can do the same.