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East England Co-op blames ‘market’ for decision to sell all pharmacies

One of the branches, on Fircroft Road, Ipswich (Credit: © 2018 Google, image capture: July 2017)
One of the branches, on Fircroft Road, Ipswich (Credit: © 2018 Google, image capture: July 2017)

The East of England Co-op has blamed “market conditions” for its decision to sell all six of its pharmacies.

The pharmacies – all located in Suffolk – “are challenged by significant operating costs and governance”, a spokesperson for the group told C+D today (May 14).

The six branches have “struggled to make a sustained, positive contribution, despite significant investment”, they added.

“As a result of this, we have placed them on the market for sale.”

The East of England Co-op – which is “owned by over 275,000 members” and provides “stores and services…across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire” – runs three pharmacies in Ipswich, one in Felixstowe, one in Stowmarket and one in Saxmundham, according to the group’s website.

The pharmacies are “open and trading as normal”, the spokesperson told C+D.

“Protecting” pharmacy staff

The decision to sell its pharmacies is “no reflection on the hard work of our colleagues”, the East of England Co-op stressed.

It will aim to transfer the business as a “going concern and protect the positions of our colleagues” who “provide great service to members and customers”, it added.

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Alistair Farquhar, Superintendent Pharmacist

James is correct - all separate independent Co-operative businesses. Lincolnshire Co-operative operate 49 pharmacies - not 45 as stated.

Locum Technician, Pharmacy technician

There are still 86 Co-Op pharmacies.

45 Lincoln Co-Op Chemists

34 Midlands Co-Op Pharmacies

6 East of England Co-Op Pharmacies

1 Sutton & Merton OOH Co-Op Pharmacy

James Waldron, Editorial


As far as we are aware, the businesses you have listed are all separate from each other, as well as from the Co-operative Pharmacy, which rebranded as Well in 2015. This article is solely about East of England Co-op.


James Waldron, C+D editor

David Moore, Locum pharmacist

Surprised to find that The Co-op still had pharmacies, thought that they had all been sold off to Bestway.

C A, Community pharmacist

It's a different Co-op, there are numerous local Co-op's in England

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