BOOTS will begin closing the first of 300 stores within a few weeks.
The popular drugstore chain has confirmed the locations of seven stores that will close permanently.
This is part of a broader closure plan that will reduce the chain’s store count from 2,200 to 1,900.
At the time the plans were announced, Boots had not confirmed which stores would close.
It did say that they would be locations with multiple stores in an area.
Now, the health and beauty retailer has exclusively revealed to The Sun that the seven branches will be the first to close this year.
These include two in Wakefield, one in Glastonbury and two in Woking.
Some closures will take place later this year, while others will close as early as the end of July.
Boots has confirmed that all employees working at these locations will be assigned alternate roles.
Here is the full list of stores that have been confirmed to close and their closing dates:
- Heathside Rd, Woking – late July
- UEA campus – end of July
- Hamlet Ct Road, Westcliff-on-Sea – August 1
- Windhill Road, Wakefield – October 6
- Upper Warrengate, Wakefield – October 7
- Glastonbury – October 13
- Guildford Road, Woking – late October
A Boots spokesperson said: “We can confirm that the stores listed are part of the previously announced Boots store consolidation program.
“All team members from these stores will be offered alternate roles.”
The pharmacy chain employs more than 52,000 team members in total, and it is expected that broader closures will not lead to any redundancies.
It will close a total of 300 stores in the UK and 150 in the US.
Last month in its quarterly earnings report, Boots said: “Developing storefront property in this way allows Boots to focus its team members where they need them and focus their investments more deeply. into individual stores with the ambition to consistently provide excellent and reliable service in a fresh and up-to-date environment.”
The bosses added that they will “collect” stores that are close to each other.
It comes after Boots closed one chain of stores this spring, before closing another in early June.
Among the stores that have closed are those in Salford, Ellesmere and one in London.
Boots said in all cases there is a replacement store less than three miles away.
Earlier in 2020, Boots announced 48 optometrists would close with 4,000 jobs lost.
It also closed more than 200 stores over an 18-month period starting in 2019.
Boots is not the only pharmacy chain to close locations, earlier this year Lloyds closed all of its locations in Sainsbury’s stores.
It has struggled with losses for several years and closes 76 stores by 2022.
Retailers have felt the pinch since the pandemic while shoppers are cutting back on spending due to soaring inflation.
High energy costs and the post-pandemic shift to online shopping are also having dire consequences, and many stores on the street have struggled to stay afloat.
Argos has closed 37 stores this year, and more are planned for next year.
House of Fraser is set to close stores in two more locations while battling to maintain a presence in the retail sector.
Poundstretcher is closing more locations after closing several others this year.
In addition, Iceland will close five more supermarkets this summer – as well as four of the country’s convenience stores.
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