Walgreens lost $1.7B in 3Q as global pandemic tightened grip

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FILE – In this March 26, 2020 file photo, a woman leaves a Walgreens pharmacy that is enforcing social distancing rules by allowing only a certain numbers of people in as customers line up on the sidewalk outside the store in New York. The coronavirus pandemic pushed the drugstore chain to a $1.7-billion loss in its fiscal third quarter, as customers stayed home to avoid the virus or consolidated their shopping to grocery stores. The international drugstore chain said Thursday, July 9 the rapidly spreading virus took a bite of between $700 million and $750 million out of sales in the quarter. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

The coronavirus pandemic pushed Walgreens to a $1.7 billion loss in the third quarter with customers staying home or limiting shopping to essential supplies from grocery stores.

The drugstore chain said Thursday that the rapidly spreading virus took a bite of between $700 million and $750 million from sales, with much of the financial damage coming from outside the United States.  

Sales at stores in the U.K., where the company furloughed more than 16,000 employees, dropped almost 28% on a constant currency basis. April foot traffic at Boots stores plunged 85%.  Shares are down more than 4% before the opening bell.

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