High Street

Boots confirms closures of 200 stores

Health and beauty retailer Boots has confirmed it is set to close 200 stores in the UK, after receiving confirmation from its parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance.

The store closures will affect underperforming stores, in “walking distance” of other Boots locations and will represent 8% of the retailer’s UK stores base.

The announcement comes as Q3 results showed a 2.6% decrease in retail sales and pharmacy sales also saw a dip by 0.8%.

Sebastian James, managing director, Boots UK and ROI, said: “WBA 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% 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 last week.”

Boots are keen to expand its online offerings, in order to meet with the changes to buying habits, which saw a 3.5% decline in footfall sales in May.

The retailer currently employs 62,000 people in 2,400 stores in the UK and Ireland, with the company keen to relocate staff to neighbouring stores after closures.

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