Boots ends pharmacy provision in 22 stores

Boots has said it plans to end pharmacy provision in 22 of its stores “in the coming months” while keeping the stores themselves open for retail purposes.

It is unclear as yet which stores will be affected. A spokesperson told Pharmacy Network News that the decision did not signal a wider store closure programme in the near future.

The spokesperson commented: “At Boots, we aim to serve our customers however and wherever they need us, both in stores and online. We continually review our pharmacy network to ensure that we balance our commitment to offer provision where it is most needed with our need to adapt to a changing market environment.

“Sometimes this means opening new pharmacies and sometimes it means taking a decision to close some. In the coming months we will close a small number as part of this ongoing review.

“Many of these pharmacies are close to other Boots stores that offer pharmacy provision and we will offer pharmacy team members alternative roles at Boots wherever possible.”

They added: “We have opened almost 20 new stores in 2020 and 2021 and continue to look at new locations that Boots stores can succeed.”

The spokesperson told Pharmacy Network News that the majority of the new stores opened in the past two years contain pharmacies.

Commenting on the news, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association said the closure of in-store pharmacies could lead to redundancies but added: “Though a specific role may be redundant, this does not automatically mean the individual ceases their employment if suitable alternative employment can be found.”

The PDA Union said its recognition agreement with the company means Boots has to inform the union of any redundancy plans.

The Union said it would “proactively support any pharmacists impacted by such a change”.

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