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Revealed: Tesco to move ahead with plans to close eight in-store pharmacies

Tesco has confirmed it will close eight of its in-store pharmacies just a few months after it first mooted the idea, C+D can exclusively reveal.

The supermarket chain put forward a raft of proposed changes to its businesses on January 31 in order to “remain focused and competitive in a fast-changing market”.

Read more: UPDATED: Tesco reveals proposals to close eight in-store pharmacies

This included the news that eight pharmacies were at risk of closure “where there are other pharmacies within one mile of our store”, it said at the time.

Tesco confirmed to C+D on Friday (April 14) that it will close the pharmacies affected by the proposals from August – although it could not yet share their locations.

C+D understands that the affected branches are 100-hour pharmacies and are not seeing enough footfall to justify their long opening hours.

Read more: Supermarket sweep: Are large grocers falling out of love with pharmacy?

The supermarket is helping customers using the affected pharmacies to move their prescriptions to nearby pharmacies a short distance away.

However, the branches set for closure will continue to sell general sale (GSL) medicines in the main store, the supermarket said.

 

Slew of supermarket pharmacies at risk of closure

 

When announcing the proposals in January, a Tesco spokesperson told C+D that pharmacy staff made up a small proportion of those affected by its planned changes, and that relevant staff had been informed.

The supermarket chain would work hard to find roles for affected pharmacy staff in nearby Tesco branches, they added at the time. 

The announcement came just days after Asda revealed that seven of its in-store pharmacies were at risk of closure as part of a plan to “drive sustainable growth”.

Read more: UPDATED: Asda proposes closing seven pharmacies

The proposals would “affect 48 hourly-paid colleagues and 14 pharmacists” and the supermarket hoped to redeploy as many affected staff as possible, it said at the time.

The Asda branches earmarked for closure are located in Southampton, Seaham, Feltham, Blackburn, Adel, West Bradford and Weston-Super-Mare.

However, Asda could not confirm whether it will move ahead with the proposed closures when C+D approached it for comment last week.

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

Asda’s announcement closely followed the news that Lloydspharmacy will withdraw from its 237 Sainsbury’s in-store pharmacies.

It remains unclear as to the fate of each of the affected branches, as the multiple told C+D that it was "exploring options for each individual branch”.

Since then, the multiple has weathered media reports that all of its branches are “at risk” of closure, although a spokesperson told C+D the multiple “does not comment on articles that have been published based on unverified information”.

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