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Superdrug announces plans to open 25 new stores this year

The pharmacy multiple and health and beauty giant is set to open 25 bricks-and-mortar premises this year, it has revealed. 

Some 25 new Superdrug stores are set to open on British high streets in 2024, the multiple told C+D today (May 16).

Superdrug said that the expanding estate, announced 60 years after its first store opened, “is expected to create over 500 jobs nationwide”.

But it remains unclear how many, if any, of the stores will include a pharmacy. 

Superdrug also announced that it will extend seven existing stores and refit 60 over the course of 2024 “in addition to the new stores” – although it was again unable to clarify how this will affect its pharmacy provision.

Updates will include “new shop fronts, fully recyclable signage, improved flooring and ceiling tiles… energy efficient LED lighting, new floor layouts and upgraded fascia and internal signage,” it said.

The chain currently has over 780 stores across the UK and Ireland, of which “close to 200” contain a pharmacy, it added.


“Bigger and better”


Superdrug said that this “bigger and better store plan will mean Superdrug customers can continue to delight in discovering the latest trending high performance products at affordable prices”.

Commenting on the news, Superdrug’s property director Nigel Duxbury said that the “investment into bricks-and-mortar means we can grow our footprint in key locations”.

He added that the plans highlight the chain’s “ongoing commitment to high streets and retail shopping destinations, which are an integral part of local communities and economy”.

Duxbury said that the multiple is “really excited” about the plans, which will see “some of the largest ever Superdrug stores open their doors”.


Skyrocketing closures


The plans to open new premises come against a backdrop of record pharmacy closures.

Yesterday (May 15), analysis by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) found that between January and April this year, 177 bricks-and-mortar pharmacies closed compared to 116 in the same time period in 2023.

It warned that pharmacy closures are “skyrocketing”, with the number of closures 53% higher than the same stage last year - which it said was “the worst year in living memory”.

Meanwhile, data presented in parliament last month revealed that pharmacy closures in rural areas have hit a four-year peak.

At the same time, data analysis from the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) also revealed a “record” high of 432 closures across the country in the last financial year - more than five times as many as the previous financial year, which saw a net of 78 closures in total.

And the sector’s biggest players have seen a slew of high-profile closures over recent months – including Boots, Asda and the now-defunct Lloydspharmacy.

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