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10 Lloydspharmacy Sainsbury's branches have closed since takeover

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Lloydspharmacy closed its branch in Sainsbury's Finchley Road store (credit: Local Data Company)
Lloydspharmacy closed its branch in Sainsbury's Finchley Road store (credit: Local Data Company)

Ten of the Lloydspharmacies in Sainsbury's stores have closed in the two years since the multiple acquired them, C+D can reveal.

The multiple's parent company Celesio UK bought all 281 of Sainsbury’s pharmacies – consisting of 277 in-store branches and four hospital pharmacies – for £125 million in July 2015, with the handover completed in September 2016.

Commenting on the deal in 2015, former Lloydspharmacy and Celesio UK managing director Cormac Tobin said Sainsbury’s was a “fantastic fit” for the company, while Sainsbury’s chief executive officer Mike Coupe said the supermarket's pharmacy services were “incredibly popular” with customers and he was “delighted” by the deal.

C+D has identified 10 of these branches which have closed since they were acquired by Celesio UK. They include eight which Celesio UK confirmed are among the 190 “unviable” locations where the company announced last October it would cease trading:

  • Ashworth Road, Swindon, SN5 7AA
  • Butterley Park, Nottingham Road, Ripley, DE5 3QP
  • Cable Street, Lancaster, LA1 1HH
  • Chell Road, Stafford, ST16 2TF
  • Downlands Business Park, Worthing, BN14 9LA
  • 241-279 Finchley Road, London, NW3 6LU
  • Highgrounds Road, Worksop, S80 3AT
  • 60 Union Street, Oldham, OL1 3DJ.

C+D reported on two of these closures – in Oldham and Worksop – in January.

Lloydspharmacy also closed its branch in the Sainsbury’s on Old Shoreham Road in Hove, East Sussex, in December 2017. Another Lloydspharmacy – at 1149 Warwick Road in Acocks Green, Birmingham – closed in April because the Sainsbury’s shut down.

Celesio UK would not confirm to C+D whether any Lloydspharmacies branches in Sainsbury's not identified in this investigation have closed.

In April, Asda announced that it was in merger talks with Sainsbury’s. When C+D asked if this meant it would follow Sainsbury's lead and sell off its pharmacy business, Asda said at the time that if the merger went ahead, it “will continue to operate as Asda – and our pharmacy offer remains an important part of our customer offer”.

8 Comments
Question: 
Do you know of any other Sainsbury's Lloydspharmacies that are closing?

Lawrence hancox, Community pharmacist

As a Lloyds manager , my personal opinion [ if that's allowed ] is that Lloyds probably wouldn't have bought the Sainsburys pharmacies if they had a crystal ball to see that the government cuts were coming . I would like to defend Cormac , having met him on a number of occasions : he was an excellent MD who inspired everyone around him . The decisions made by a large company are not made by one man , but the  MD does lose their job if things don't work out.Not many of us are lucky enough to own a time machine , but I would still recommend pharmacy as an outstanding profession .

 

 

Honest- Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

 

Sainsburys is a company that floats on the FTSE 100. They clearly know what they are doing financially. Alarm bells should have rung when they decided to dispose off their 287 pharmacies. Lloyds clearly sought to add to their portfolio, an extremely uncalculated risk. There will be a claise between Sainsburys and lloyds saying thry cant close more than a certain number of stores I am sure. The figure was rumoured to be 10. 

 

Peter Sainsburys, Community pharmacist

If you can't beat them, buy them and close them!

A England, Manager

$2 bet asda will sell of the pharmacies.

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

So Lloyds closed 10 in the first two years - big wow! I am pretty sure they would have been loss makers based solely on their opening hours

R A, Community pharmacist

Community pharmacy has become a toxic environment. Only the greasiest individuals can thrive in such situations.  Unfortunately, it means that talent and common sense counts for little and such skills are needed in abundance to run a going concern.

Regrettably, multiple pharmacies lack such talent which is why it had foolishly chosen to buy Sainsburys pharmacy business. As most sane managers would abstain from such foolish endeavour. Boy I wish I had a time machine so I can go back and tell my teenage self not to do pharmacy. 

 

 

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

If I have understood you correctly, you have just stated that any pharmacy (and by association, pharmacist) who is managing to do even slightly well must be a slippery character - i.e. not averse to dodgy, if not actually, illegal actions. Well done! I expect you to get 12000 thumbs down and, if your identity can be revealed, a couple of law suits and a fitness to practice. And for me, I'd get a time machine and tell your teenage self not to do Pharmacy because, clearly, you have no respect for any of your fellow pharmacists

R A, Community pharmacist

Maybe you should ask for clarification before jumping to conclusion. However I am referring to the companies management on the highest levels. Clearly, that's obvious from the following statement:

"Regrettably, multiple pharmacies lack such talent which is why it had foolishly chosen to buy Sainsburys pharmacy business. As most sane managers would abstain from such foolish endeavour. Boy I wish I had a time machine so I can go back and tell my teenage self not to do pharmacy. "

At the end of the day, how can a pharmacist manager be responsible for making the acquisition of branches or pursuing business decisions? I wonder if you know much about Lloyds Pharmacy but since 2010 it has gone through at last three CEOs! Thats quite a high figure and also the boss responsible for the acquisition had left in November 2017. Clearly he had no idea what he was doing. 

To further back up my statement about the toxic/incompetent management, did Guardian not cover an article not so long ago concerning Boots milking the system or am I making this up? Or how about looking at the conduct of Lloyds Pharmacy owner McKesson’s with its alleged role in the opioid crisis in the USA? If you want examples of incompetence then look at the management of the Co-op group through the disastrous banking endeavour it had to sell off its profitable divisions like the pharmacy.   

All I am saying is that CEO/MD of large chains make decisions which have a detrimental effect on the day to day running of individual branches. However clearly this is because most are clueless of the demands pharmacists face in an actual store.  

I hope this clears my position and a piece of advice ask for clarification before you start jumping down on someone. 

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