Boots UK has announced plans to close 300 stores across the country in the next year. The closures are expected to reduce Boots' store count from approximately 2,200 to around 1,900, with a focus on shutting premises that are near other Boots sites. No redundancies are anticipated as a result of these closures with those employees affected deployed elsewhere in the group. According to Boots, the decision will allow it to concentrate team members “where they are needed” and “focus investment more acutely in individual stores with the ambition of consistently delivering an excellent and reliable service in a fresh and up-to-date environment”.
Leyla Hannbeck, chief executive of AIMp, commented: “So far around 1,000 pharmacies [in England] have closed for good. We have repeatedly highlighted our sector’s big struggles with lack of funding. We urge the government to urgently act to stop the demise of community pharmacy.”
Community Pharmacy England chief executive Janet Morrison said: “It is no surprise to hear that another multiple is looking at consolidations: this trend is reflective of the very difficult current trading conditions within community pharmacy. While consolidations can make a difference across large networks, smaller and medium-sized businesses are having to look at other options in the struggle to make ends meet: running a community pharmacy remains, for most, a battle for survival. Government and the NHS must take action to reverse the damage that their historic funding cuts are causing.”