Boots are set to close 200 stores, according to reports


May 29, 2019 - 143 views

Around 200 Boots stores could be earmarked for closure as their American owners look to cut costs.

A review is set to take place by Walgreens Boots Alliance to look at the closure of shops in areas where Boots has more than one store.

The company, which has its headquarters in Beeston, Nottingham, said it did not have "a major programme envisaged".

However it did say it was always reviewing "underperforming stores and opportunities for consolidation".

It is thought the review will take place over the next 12 to 18 months.

National reports quoting sources inside the firm's US owner, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), suggested some stores were currently under review - the 200 figure equates to about 10 percent of its footprint - but that no decisions had yet been made, reports Nottinghamshire Live.

Responding to the suggestion of a swathe of closures, a Boots spokesperson said: "We currently do not have a major programme envisaged, but as you'd expect we always review under-performing stores and seek out opportunities for consolidation.

"As is natural with a business of our size, we have stores opening, closing and relocating on a regular basis, but we have had around 2,500 stores open for several years now.

"In fact we're investing in our stores - last year, we completed a huge merchandising project to update our self-selection cosmetics areas in 2,200 of our stores."

What the union said

Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has called for urgent talks with Boots after reports that the company is reviewing the future of their 200 stores. Usdaw has urged the American owner, Walgreens Boots Alliance, to properly engage with the Union for retail staff working in stores.

"It is a distressing time for staff, who will all be worried it is their store that is under review and therefore their job that is at risk.

“Boots staff deserve a seat at the table where the future of their jobs will be decided.

"That is best achieved through the involvement of a recognised trade union and Usdaw is the trade union for Boots retail staff, so we urge the company to engage with us.

“The staff have a lot of experience and expertise to offer to help turn the business around.

"The best retailers do engage with their employees through an independent trade union.

"Let’s make sure Boots retail staff are treated with dignity and respect through this difficult period of uncertainty.”

The firm, which celebrates its 170th anniversary this year, has endured difficult trading conditions of late, with its report for the last financial year showing a £71million slump in sales.

In March it also emerged 350 jobs at its head office in Beeston were at risk.

The chain has 2,485 stores across the UK, employing about 56,000 staff.

Comments(0)

Log in to comment