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Independent chain: Buying 11 Lloydspharmacies ‘made financial sense’

Suhaib Abdullah: As a family-run company, we can implement decisions more quickly
Suhaib Abdullah: As a family-run company, we can implement decisions more quickly

A family-run chain has bought 11 Lloydspharmacy branches branded "commercially unviable", claiming the finances do "make sense".

Allied Pharmacy, a chain of 35 pharmacies based in St Helens in Merseyside, has bought 10 Lloydspharmacy stores – and is in the process of buying another, its director Suhaib Abdullah told C+D.

The 11 pharmacies are among the 190 “commercially unviable” Lloydspharmacy branches in England where parent company Celesio UK announced in October it will cease trading.

C+D has now confirmed the location of 47 of these pharmacies (see map below). The multiple declined to confirm the remaining 143 branches.

Mr Abdullah said buying the former Lloydspharmacy branches, in Manchester, Sheffield, Cheshire and Liverpool, as well as Kent and north Lincolnshire, “made sense geographically”.

“We’re always looking to expand… and the site[s] were suitable as regards to their location and the level of services provided,” Mr Abdullah told C+D on Monday (February 26).

He said the chain – which he runs with his brother and sister – plans to turn around the pharmacies' financial fortunes by “looking to push existing commissioned services…such as weight management services”.

“We look at where we can improve things and how,” adding: “At the end of the day the figures need to make sense.”

“We can dedicate time to what we do, combining expertise and experience. Because we are a family-run company, we can make decisions faster and implement them more quickly”, he told C+D.

Where else is Lloydspharmacy ceasing trading?

You can use C+D's map to view the location of all of the Lloydspharmacy branches so far confirmed for closure or sale.

Branches confirmed for closure are marked in purple, while those up for sale are marked in blue. The branches that have been sold are marked in orange.

This map is live, and will be updated as C+D confirms the locations of further affected Lloydspharmacy branches.

Looking to buy or sell a pharmacy? Browse C+D Marketplace for the latest listings

Do you work for a Lloydspharmacy branch earmarked for closure or sale?

Disillusioned Sussex chic, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

Lloyds/celesio have become so large now that they do not seem to care about the very patients who enabled the to get this far. It is all about profit for them. if it's not profitable then it goes seems to be their motto. I once had a very high regard for lloyds but, sadly no more.

Brian Austen, Senior Management

I still have a high regard for the staff that work in my local Lloyds but have to agree with you about the company. A good way to get a feel about a corporate giant is to read their Annual Report to shareholders and to read information for investors.

Brian Austen, Senior Management

The Pharmacist working in a Lloyds is a cost to the company. The Pharmacist that buys a Lloyds pharmacy still has the cost but it is also converted into his or her salary or better still director's dividend. So even if the pharmacy was only breaking even or making a small profit it has become viable. Add to that better motivation and associated improvements you're possibly on to a 'winner'. It is sometimes referred to as "buying a job".

Mohammed Patel, Community pharmacist

Honest pharmacist scores a hole in one. If they backed out of the UK market entirely the staff and patients would be much better off. And so would HMRC, and in turn, the UK.

But if such a money grabbing, hand over fist company is selling up (even with their bulk discounts), you can be sure that these branches are duds. Better to open a kebab house or McDonalds/Dominos franchise and watch the cash roll in.

Sue Per, Locum pharmacist

The pharmacies, were probably not viable, because there wasn't enough fat for the corporate management team and the shareholders. The cause of closures should be titled "Corporate Greed causes closure of Lloyds Pharmacies" 

Honest Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Have to say that they are lucky ones because at least they don't have to work for a company like Lloyds anymore - wish Lloyds would sell off more of their shops, it would be ideal to be sold to an independent or smaller firm.

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