Revealed: 300 Boots branch closures to begin this month
Boots has revealed the locations of the first seven out of its 300 branches marked for closure over the next year, with two to shut their doors this month.
Last month, Boots announced that it would close 300 branches located “in close proximity to each other” over the next 12 months, although it remained unclear which these are and when the closures would start.
Now it has revealed that the first closures will take place as soon as this month.
The first seven branch locations due to close and their closing dates are:
Heathside Rd, Woking - end of July
UEA campus, Norwich - end of July
Hamlet Ct Rd, Westcliff-on-Sea - August 1
Windhill Road, Wakefield - October 6
Upper Warrengate, Wakefield - October 7
Glastonbury - October 13
Guildford Road, Woking - end of October
“We can confirm that the stores listed are part of the Boots store consolidation programme previously announced”, a Boots spokesperson told C+D yesterday (July 18).
They added that “all team members from these stores will be offered alternative roles”.
The multiple previously told C+D that the closures will have no impact to pharmacy roles or other store roles, with full deployment opportunities for impacted team members.
But the pharmacists’ union this month told C+D that it believes Boots may let go of some workers as part of the recently announced plans to close 300 stores.
It is “unlikely that suitable alternative roles will be available for all”, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) said.
Read more: Boots reveals plans to close 300 branches
And the union said that other than possible redundancies, it believed it was “likely” that the closures will have “wider consequences for other employees”.
This “significant” upheaval could come as consolidation of workload into nearby stores may “require additional resources, staffing and physical space in the pharmacy expected to absorb that extra volume”, the PDA added.
The PDA also flagged that demand for relief pharmacists “and other area roles may also reduce” as a result of the closures.
The union said it will be “working tirelessly to avoid job losses for pharmacists and protecting their interests”.
The closures will bring the multiple’s portfolio from approximately 2,200 branches to around 1,900.
C+D understands that more than 85% of the 300 branches set to close within the next 12 months are within 5km of another, with 82% of people in the UK to remain within a 10-minute drive of a Boots store.
At the time of the announcement in late June, sector leaders reacted with dismay, saying that it reflected a wider pattern of underfunding across the sector.
But in March, the government said that it had not considered the impact of funding on English community pharmacy closures since 2019, after analysis by the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) showed in February that 720 pharmacies had closed for good in England since 2015.
Meanwhile, C+D last month revealed that all 237 Sainsbury’s Lloydspharmacy branches would be closed for good by June 13 - six months after a C+D exclusive announced that the multiple would withdraw from the supermarket during 2023.