THE American owner of Boots The Chemist is exploring the closure of hundreds of shops in the latest blow to Britain’s crisis-hit high streets reports Sky News.
Sky News has learnt that Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has placed more than 200 outlets under review for possible closure during the next two years.
Sources close to the company insisted on Tuesday that decisions had yet to be made about the stores under scrutiny, but acknowledged that a significant number were likely to be shut.
WBA said in April that it was undertaking a review of its Boots The Chemist estate “focusing on low-performing stores and opportunities for consolidation”, although it declined to specify then the number that it was considering shutting.
If it pursued the closure of the 200-plus shops being examined, it would equate to just under 10% of the chain’s standalone UK health and beauty outlets.
An insider said that some of the affected sites would close at the expiry of their leases, while others would be part of a consolidation in towns which currently have two separate Boots stores.
Where possible, staff would be redeployed to an area’s existing, or new, store, they added.
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