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Boots responds to claims it will close more than 200 pharmacies

Boots: We are being realistic about the future and will need to adapt to the changing landscape
Boots: We are being realistic about the future and will need to adapt to the changing landscape

Boots has said it does not have a “major programme” of closures in mind, following Sky News claims that more than 200 branches could be at risk.

Sky News wrote this afternoon (May 28) that sources close to Boots' parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance had told it that the company has "placed more than 200 outlets under review for possible closure during the next two years".

"An insider said that some of the affected sites would close at the expiry of their leases, while others would be part of a consolidation in towns which currently have two separate Boots stores," Sky News said.

In response, Boots told C+D it does "not have a major programme" of closures envisaged, but added: "As you'd expect, we always review underperforming stores and seek out opportunities for consolidation.

"Whenever this happens our focus is on transferring colleagues to other stores and that local communities have access to a pharmacy service.

"As is natural with a business of our size, we have stores opening, closing and relocating on a regular basis, but we have had around 2,500 stores open for several years now," Boots said.

"We are being realistic about the future and that we will need to be agile to adapt to the changing landscape," it added.

Last month, Walgreens Boots Alliance backtracked on comments it made alongside its latest financial results, which were "much weaker than expected", stressing that there is no "major" review of low-performing pharmacies in the UK.

Have you been informed of any potential Boots closures?

R A, Community pharmacist

The correct answer for Boots is over-leverage which has wrecked the business because instead of investing in the business with the excess profit the company made almost all profit was redirected to repaying the interest on the multi-billion pound loan the private equity firm took out to buy Boots.

In the process, it has seriously harmed the company. No point blaming on poor funding from NHS especially for a company like Boots which is retail oriented.  

Alexander The Great, Community pharmacist

Funny if you read the daily mail comments on this article, some people have blamed brexit, some people have blamed business rates. But nobody in the world realises that they have cut pharmacy payments massively! Doesnt the media care about pharmacy!??!?

Recently there's has been a massive uproar about post offices losing a few million funding, and they need to close. We've lost HUNDREDS of millions and nobody cares.


VISHAL PATEL, Community pharmacist

Consolidation of its stores would be a logical idea considering its staff and pharmacists are overstretched.

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

I'm not saying Boots tell porkies but if they told me water was wet I'd double check just to be sure.

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

Surely, portfolio review is a sensible part of any business operation? There's no point landing yourself with a lease if the profit generated by the store isn't worth the effort. Anyway, this is just another 'nothing' story written to look like something - the stores are up for review, so yes, they could close but then so could any. Better to lose the dead wood than do a BHS!

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