"Over 2,500" Sainsbury's employees today transferred over to the rebranded stores as part of Lloyds' buyout of the supermarket's pharmacy business, Celesio UK said.
As part of the £125 million deal – which the government's competition watchdog gave the green light to in July – Celesio UK has acquired all Sainsbury’s pharmacies, consisting of 277 in-store and four hospital pharmacies.
New uniforms and shelf materials
Rebranding of the Sainsbury's pharmacies will take place over an eight month period, Celesio UK said, with each of the 277 in-store pharmacies receiving new Lloydspharmacy counter and shelf point-of-sale materials.
Staff were given new uniforms and name badges for when they opened for business this morning, Celesio UK added.
Each of the stores has been linked to a "buddy" Lloydspharmacy, from which an employee will visit the new branch.
Each pharmacy will also be supported by an area manager and an integration coach to ensure the transition to Lloyds is “smooth and successful”, Celesio UK added.
Celesio UK managing director Cormac Tobin said the Sainsbury's pharmacy employees would make a "wonderful addition" to the Lloydspharmacy network.
“Sainsbury’s is a fantastic fit for us and together we will... give our customers and patients compelling reasons to come back to us time and time again,” he added.
Stores up for sale
Earlier this month, Celesio UK added two more Lloydspharmacy branches to the list of 12 it has been forced to sell as part of a takeover.
Day Lewis is the first chain to express interest in buying all 14 Lloydspharmacy branches up for sale.
The new Lloydspharmacy team at Oadby Sainsbury’s store, Glen Road, Leceister (September 1)