Boots announces plans to close 200 stores within the next 18 months
Boots, which has shops in Stamford, Bourne, Oakham and Uppingham, has announced plans to close 200 stores where it has a "large number in close proximity".
Sebastian James, managing director of Boots UK, said today (Friday) that it was the "right thing to do".
He said stores would close within the next 18 months but was unable to say which stores would be affected.
In a statement, he said: "WBA [Wallgreens Boots Alliance] has now approved an outline plan to consolidate around 200, principally local pharmacy, stores where we have a large number within close proximity. We believe this is the right thing to do as it means that we can invest more in staffing those stores while not reducing our 90 per cent coverage within a 10-minute drive of a Boots.
"We do not anticipate a significant effect from this activity to colleagues as we will redeploy the overwhelming majority to neighbouring stores. At the same time, we continue to open new stores where we believe there are communities that would benefit from a new Boots - for example the new Covent Garden flagship (creating 130 new jobs) which opened yesterday.”
The announcement follows a review of Boots stores portfolio and 200 stores represents about 8 per cent of the total number in the country.
Mr James said: "There’s no doubt that trading conditions are tough on the High Street and healthcare and retail are facing a challenging reality. Boots is not immune to these pressures, however we have a remarkable brand and I am continually amazed by the extraordinary deep love and respect people have for Boots. We’re still a very successful company with a phenomenal presence in the UK but we need to take some tough decisions to transform the fundamentals of our business, building on our 170-year legacy, to ensure our future growth.
“We’re transforming the experience for customers when they shop with us and our focus is on making our stores and online offer even more differentiated and personalised, with the best brands at the best value. We’re working very hard through these plans and I’m excited about what this means for the future of Boots. We have the number one health and beauty website, the most popular UK loyalty scheme and the most trusted pharmacy, second only to the NHS. And we have amazing and compassionate colleagues who work hard every day. What we’re doing today is about ensuring our future success.”