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Lloyds buys every Sainsbury's pharmacy for £125m

Mr Tobin: Two companies are a "fantastic fit"

The acquisition of the 281 sites will make Lloydspharmacy services "more accessible", says managing director Cormac Tobin

Lloydspharmacy has bought Sainsbury’s pharmacy business for £125 million, the companies have announced.

All of the supermarket giant's 281 pharmacies – 277 in stores and four in hospitals – will be rebranded as Lloydspharmacy, the companies said in a joint statement today (July 29).

All of Sainsbury’s "up to 2,500" pharmacy staff will transfer to Lloydspharmacy, the companies said.

The sale is due for completion by the end of February next year, and Sainsbury’s will receive annual rent for each location, they added.

The deal will increase Llodspharmacy's existing network of more than 1,500 branches by around 18%.

Lloydspharmacy and Celesio UK managing director Cormac Tobin said Sainsbury’s was a “fantastic fit” for his company.

“Over recent years we have developed a range of services to make it easier for people to manage their health, and we look forward to making these even more accessible via the Sainsbury’s network," he said.

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.

“Working together will enable us to grow and extend our pharmacy services to customers, whilse realising value for shareholders today,” he added.

Last year, UK-based food wholesaler Bestway bought the Co-operative Pharmacy's 771 branches for £620m.

In 2009, Boots rebranded 13 pharmacies it operated in Waitrose stores under its own name.


What do you make of the deal?

We want to hear your views, but please express them in the spirit of a constructive, professional debate. For more information about what this means, please click here to see our community principles and information


bilal hussain, Community pharmacist

Lloyds takeover of Sainsbury pharmacies is possibly one of the worst recent developments in pharmacy. The big boys really need to be stopped from acquiring any more pharmacies. How this deal was even allowed to go ahead is beyond me. I have a sneaky suspicion there was some influence from people with contacts.

Ms B Wilson, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Who is the stupid commentator ` A LOCUM Community !!Pharmacist - glad I did not work with anyone like you, as your attitude already `stinks' and C Beadle, Pharmacist, I agree with nearly everything you have commented on. The European model - yeh, but unlike Britain the European model has a better intergrated system and I include conventional medicine with dare I say it, holistic and the staff are not only bi lingual, but usually know about ALL their products and treatments!! However just at the comment made elsewhere, yes All the best to all involved- as takeovers, being re-interviewed is never easy and really affects morale.

Ms B Wilson, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Interesting. Used to work for both J Sainsburys - not once but twice and I have also worked for Lloyds Pharmacy. I think for me the main thing is Pharmacy as may be in other areas of work, I hope the company value the staff at the front end of the business, as in the HCA and pharmacy counter staff just as well as the dispensers and of course the Pharmacists - though the industry does not appear to be smooth sailing for them either despite being highly qualified and well educated, but you can find the latter in other staff also, but when I worked it was not recognised!! It was recognised more when I worked for Boots, both by the then branch manager who took me on- clearly trusting her good instincts as well as my working history etc. and then subsequently last manager I had who was a little younger, again who had good instincts and knew her staff, like a good boss, or team leader should. Sadly very much lacking these days. Also they both were not afraid of `getting their hands dirty' with support of staff - which is proper team working - again sadly lacking these days!! And not just in Pharmacy.

Yo Palumeri, Community pharmacist

Tuped across, keep current salary and never see a wage rise again, and then when need to save more money performance managed out Lloyds is a heavenly place just ask anybody

A LOCUM, Community pharmacist

If folk don't like new employers then it's simple LEAVE stop moaning , plenty minimum wage jobs , cleaning is always a good one sick of staff saying they'd get more money cleaning , then staff become cleaners u clean the pharmacy don't u so u have got experience , life is tough for everyone

bilal hussain, Community pharmacist

I expect to see your name on the top of Lloyds locum pharmacist list if they drop their rates to national minimum, considering you're ok with accepting whatever bone the company bosses throw at you.

Farmer Cyst, Community pharmacist

I don't know about you, but staff 'churn' is probably at the root of most of my stresses as a Pharmacist. A lot of people are wondering why they are expected to do counter training in their own time at home, get a bollocking for something that is not even slightly within their control dozens of times a day and put up with the general stress of a direct customer facing role when they COULD go and make the same money cleaning. A lot of them are! I suspect you're not a locum. I am, I'm seeing LOTS of good staff leaving across all of the chains, most of them are not leaving for other Pharmacy jobs. There's shock and outrage at the low wages of 'carers' in the press, but most counter staff are basically on minimum wage. It's embarrassing for the profession. Other than the 'air' of respectability it has vs 'working on the tills at Aldi', there is literally nothing going for being a counter assistant (or even a dispenser). Increasingly people are realizing this.

With many gp practices now implementing 56 days repeat prescribing many pharmacies will fail. Pharmacy lacks leadership at the national level!

Charles Beadle, Locum pharmacist

Interesting Merger, must admit like the Boots/Moss merger no-one seem to see this news coming! Can see the logic for LP/Celesio with Sainsbury's footfall and the European Pharmacy Network vision. Sainsbury's seem to get their cake and eat it! They get a good price for the business, have the customers footfall, lose 2K+ staff, get gauranteed rental, and save the admin pharmacy costs all in one go!. Lloyds hopefully may take on some of Sainsburys better characteristics eg Pharmacy Manager is preferable to compass, and venloc is beneficial for locum bookings, giving autonomy to each store. Also good for the exchequer, as Celesio and Sainsbury's pay UK tax unlike another large pharmacy chain!!!

PoPeYe- Popeys Car Wash, Community pharmacist

A wartime typewriter would be preferable to Compass, TBH.

Reg Rehal, Community pharmacist

Funny how Lloyds cut staff and wages when their £50m+ profit drops by less than £1m and yet they have £125m to buy Sainsburys pharmacies. The £125m was better used on paying better locum rates, increasing staff in stores and paying their staff properly (not £13/hr for a relief pharmacist!) Glad I got out from there many many years ago!

Anonymous Anonymous, Information Technology

News like this makes me glad to be moving out of pharmacy altogether!

Rajiv Shah,

they may be loss making pharmacies but JS still profits from the footfall of having a pharmacy in-store without the head-ache of managing them. Also generate a rental income for the space afforded to Lloyds

John Randell, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

you wont be making all that money for running a slow 100 hr anymore...youve had it good sainbury pharmacists losts of Mergers and Aquisitions in this industry at the moement...

Childs Childs, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

Sainsburys Pharmacy Technician. Don't fret about the 10% colleague discount, that will probably go anyway if Sainsburys have to pay minimum living wage. Mike Coupe stated in the Times July 9th that if the minimum wage is imposed then "perks" will have to be looked at! Colleague discount being one of them. I am thoroughly against having my employer imposed on me and will seriously reconsider my future in pharmacy.

Louise Smith, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

I am a dispenser at sainsburys pharmacy and today I learn I will lose my discount my bonus and twenty years service I have to rearrange my pension and jump into the unknown. If I want to stay at sainsburys I have to apply for one of the few internal jobs on 12 hour contract so have no choice but to go with Lloyds. I'm waiting for the shock to wear off

Dave Downham, Manager

I'd get some advice - you should be TUPE'd across at not worse terms

Raluca Chisu, Community pharmacist

And it was unfair to be told on the same day when the news was published...this deal was done a time strong! Time might offers you a better opportunity...let the storm to pass and keep calm!

PoPeYe- Popeys Car Wash, Community pharmacist

The phrase "we just have to get on with it", which I've heard many times about many aspects of this job, will be inscribed on Community Pharmacys gravestone.

BL E, Primary care pharmacist

It's been a difficult day hasn't it? Hopefully some more thorough info will come through in the next few days so we can all be a little clearer on what's happening. The difficult thing for a lot of the colleagues is that Sainsbury's offer very few full time hours contracts so I feel there'll be quite a few who feel they have to go to Lloyds as there are not suitable roles for them. Good luck and best wishes to everyone affected.

Another Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Best of luck, Louise.

Zoe Spivey, Pharmacy technician

Totally cheated

Zoe Spivey, Pharmacy technician

Me too, feel total cheated.

Pavol Kosa, Locum pharmacist

I feel that walking in locum pharmacist shoes should be introduced on top of walking in customer shoes, well I saw some improvement, european pharmacy network pharmacies are nice, so we will see...Let's be positive...:-). There is by my opinion urgent need to introduce locum feedback forms directly to head of the regions to make it fair environment to work. What do you think?

Z ZZzzzz, Information Technology

I reckon Sainbury's has got out while they can at a favourable rate of return. They have seen the writing on the wall and when EPS2 is totally up and running there will be no need for so many pharmacy branches. Most repeat dispensing will be carried out in large, skeleton staffed script factories like those already in place by Boots and Lloyds. That is the probable reason for the larger than expected discount to fair value. Lloyds will be expecting to close a lot of the instore pharmacies that are not of a suitable design to cope with large volumes of scripts. Sainsburys then get more floorspace back and the store managers will no longer have to be jealous at the pharmacy manager's salary - although when we read about the drop in expected pharmacist rates of pay, perhaps the former pharmacy instore manager would possibly look at being the general store manager in time. I hope I'm wrong with my forecast this time - although I did predict that PSNC would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory when it came to them following through with a national year round MAS! Instead we got a flu vaccination advance service that can only honestly be provided over a few months per year.

PoPeYe- Popeys Car Wash, Community pharmacist

A A best post I have seen anywhere in a long time. I was asking myself how exactly do Lloyds expect to make money out of this venture if Sainsburys have seen the writing on the wall. Now Sainsburys will still have the customer magnet, ( or avoid the penalty of not having when a nearby competitor does), of an instore pharmacy without the financial concerns. I'm reading that the sale price was cheap but then so is a 75% off fine bristle hairbrush even if you are bald!

Pharmacist Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Watch the rates drop. Why doesnt the competition commission stop this??

Danny TheRed, Community pharmacist

Shame on Sainsburys, their apparent values are just hot air

I have worked for Sainsbury's for the past three years and without trying to sound too poetic, I would like to think we have made a difference to our patients with the flexibility and training ethic that Sainsbury's has provided us as an employer. I have minimal yet positive experience working with Lloyd's as a locum but perhaps the pharmacy business would be better managed in their hands with a more focused approach towards pharmacy and healthcare provision? One concern is how this transition will affect pharmacy staff who receive bonus pay/premiums for long term employment with Sainsbury's. If they transition will they lose all these benefits? If they choose to remain with Sainsbury's, will we be operating a skeleton crew in pharmacies when Lloyd's take over? so many questions! But at least I can be certain one thing won't change....MUR TARGETS!

Chris ., Community pharmacist

Lloyds will ensure you have the skeleton crew - don't worry about that!


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