UPDATED: Asda proposes closing seven pharmacies
Seven of Asda’s 254 in-store pharmacies are at risk of closure as part of a wide-ranging plan to “drive sustainable growth”, the supermarket chain has announced.
Asda is "proposing to close" the seven pharmacies "due to low customer usage”, it announced today (January 26).
It comes as part of a raft of proposals, marking “ongoing efforts to improve customer experience in [Asda] stores and drive sustainable growth for the future”, it said.
Asda’s retail director Ken Towle said the supermarket is “now entering a period of consultation with our colleagues on these proposals”.
If the proposals go ahead, the branch closures would “affect 48 hourly-paid colleagues and 14 pharmacists”, the supermarket said.
Meanwhile, an Asda spokesperson told C+D that – if the proposals are greenlit – the multiple expects the affected the pharmacies to close by the end of April 2023.
The affected pharmacies are located in:
- West Bradford
Asda to do its best to redeploy staff
All affected staff have been made aware of the proposals, the spokesperson told C+D.
The supermarket chain will do everything it can to redeploy as many staff as possible should the proposals go ahead, the spokesperson said, and there are a number of positions available in local branches.
Mr Towles said Asda “will do all [it] can” to support affected colleagues.
“We recognise this will be a difficult time for them,” he added.
Commenting on the reasons behind Asda’s announcement, he said: “The retail sector is evolving at pace, and it is vital we review changing customer preferences, along with our own ways of working, to ensure we are operating as efficiently as possible, so that we can continue to invest and grow our business.”
The supermarket chain is also considering moving some overnight restocking shifts to the daytime and reducing the opening hours of its 23 in-store post office branches.
Asda offers jobs to Lloyds pharmacists
The news follows Lloydspharmacy’s recent announcement that it plans to withdraw from its 237 Sainsbury’s in-store pharmacies.
When asked whether the pharmacies in question will close or be sold, Lloydspharmacy told C+D it is “currently exploring options for each individual branch”.
Meanwhile, in a LinkedIn post last week (January 19), Asda said it was “as ever keen to help any Lloyds colleagues” affected by the multiple's announcement who are “as such looking for their next role”.
It directed interested parties to its careers page.
An Asda spokesperson confirmed today that the supermarket has many pharmacy vacancies. It is hoped that any colleagues affected by either announcement can be redeployed accordingly, they said.