Pharmacy giant Boots will close more stores in a matter of days as part of their plan to shut down 300 shops.
The popular health chain confirmed that the nine stores flagged this week will lock their doors for the last time.
The decision comes amid sweeping proposals to reduce the number of Boots outlets from 2,200 to 1,900.
When the news of the cuts was announced, Boots had not revealed which stores would be in the firing line.
The beauty chain has now revealed the first nine areas to be hit by shop closures. These include Glastonbury, Woking – where two sites will be axed, West-Cliff-on-Sea and Wakefield – where two stores are shutting down, reports The Sun.
Several of the closures were because they were loss-making and two thirds of them were within walking distance of each other, the chain said (File photo)
The move could place thousands of jobs at risk – the company currently has around 52,000 members of staff (File photo)
Some of the closures will take place later this year, while others will close for good as early as the end of the month.
Boots said all staff working in these stores set to close will be offered alternative roles within the company.
A spokesperson for Boots told The Sun: ‘We can confirm that the stores listed are part of the Boots store consolidation program previously announced.
‘All team members from these stores will be offered alternative roles.’
Boots employs more than 52,000 staff. Despite looking to shrink the number of stores, its anticipated closures will not lead to any redundancies.
Speaking last month, James Kehoe, global chief financial officer at Boots parent company, Walgreens Boots Alliance, told analysts: ‘We will continue to optimize our locations and opening hours, and expect to close an additional 300 locations in the UK and 150 locations in the US.’
Previously, Boots said it would be shutting down more than 200 stores over an 18-month period beginning in 2019.
Several of the closures were because they were loss-making and two thirds of them were within walking distance of each other, the chain said.
In 2020, Boots announced 48 opticians were shutting down, with the loss of 4,000 jobs.
There has been speculation that the company’s owner Walgreens Boots Alliance is considering a breakup.
Last year, Walgreens Boots shelved a sale of the retail chain after failing to find a buyer, pointing to an ‘unexpected and dramatic change’ in financial markets.
A number of major retailers including Argos and Lloyds Pharmacy announced this month that they are closing stores.
Figures published by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) in April showed the scale of the decline of Britain’s high streets in the North compared to the South, with the highest number of vacant stores in the North East (17.5 per cent), Wales (16.5 per cent) and the West Midlands (15.8 per cent).
By contrast, the lowest vacancy rates are in London (11.1 per cent), the South East (11.3 per cent) and the East (12.8 per cent).
The overall vacancy rate in the first three months of this year stands at 13.8 per cent – the same as the previous quarter, the BRC said.
But Boots are not the only pharmacy to shut up shops as Lloyds closed all of its sites within Sainsbury’s stores last month – it struggled for many years and stopped retailing in 76 locations in 2022.
Staggering energy costs and a shift to online shopping are also taking a toll as many high street shops have struggled to keep going.
New Look is closing more of its shops before the end of July and Asda, which has more than 600 branches across the country, is closing two Asda Living stores this summer.
Amazon is also set to close many stores within days as it gears up to open two new locations.