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Lloydspharmacy confirms closure of Dorset Sainsbury’s branch next month

The multiple has confirmed the closure of its in-store pharmacy in a Sainsbury’s store in Christchurch, Dorset.

It comes after C+D exclusively revealed last month that Lloydspharmacy intends to withdraw operations from its 237 Sainsbury’s pharmacies “over the course of 2023”.

At the time, the fate of each affected pharmacy remained unclear, with the multiple saying it was “exploring options for each individual branch”.

Read more: Lloydspharmacy quits Sainsbury’s: What we do (and don't) know so far

However, a Lloydspharmacy spokesperson told C+D yesterday (January 31) that its Sainsbury’s branch in Christchurch, Dorset, is set to close in just over a month.

“The Lloydspharmacy branch in Christchurch will be closing on March 13, 2023 when the lease with Sainsbury’s will expire,” they confirmed.

The spokesperson did not clarify whether this will be the first of the multiple’s 237 Sainsbury’s branches to close – or confirm whether any more are tipped for closure.

 

What about the rest?

 

C+D also asked the multiple for updates regarding its remaining Sainsbury’s branches.

The spokesperson reiterated that “Lloydspharmacy is currently exploring options for each individual branch in the Sainsbury’s estate, which means that timeline and final plans will vary on a branch-by-branch basis”.

Read more: Lloydspharmacy exits Sainsbury’s: Locations of all the branches revealed

Lloydspharmacy said it had nothing further to add when C+D asked whether its lease for other Sainsbury’s in-store pharmacies would also end on March 13.

It comes as two supermarket chains revealed their own proposals to close some of their in-store pharmacies in the wake of Lloydspharmacy’s announcement.

Tesco yesterday said it was considering shutting eight, while Asda announced the possible closure of seven pharmacies last week (January 26). 

Both chains are consulting on their proposals, which they said would drive efficiency in their businesses.

Read more: 'Unprecedented closures': Pharmacy leaders press Sunak for cash injection

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) has come out in support of pharmacists affected by all three of the supermarket chains' announcements, yesterday expressing concern for Tesco staff and their patients.

PDA Union director Paul Day remarked that Tesco’s announcement marked “the third instance in just twelve days of reductions in the overall access to a pharmacy for NHS patients”.

Read more: Legal view: What now for Lloydspharmacy services in Sainsbury's?

Christie & Co’s head of pharmacy Tony Evans – who spoke to C+D immediately following Lloydspharmacy’s announcement – suggested that corporate disposals of pharmacies were “something positive from [his] point of view” as it means “more pharmacies coming back into the independent sector”.

Meanwhile, C+D's editor Beth Kennedy also suggested that the news offers independent pharmacies the chance dominate the community pharmacy network.

 

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