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”.