Wednesday 29 May 2019 2:16 AM UTC
LONDON May 29: Boots could become the latest casualty of Britain’s crisis-hit High Street with 200 stores under review for possible closure, it has been revealed today.
The chain’s American parent, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), last month warned it had suffered its ‘most difficult quarter’ since its formation and would need to take ‘decisive steps to reduce costs in the UK’.
It is now examining 200 stores which could be set to close over the next two years, nearly one in 10 of the 2,500 outlets across the country which employ 60,000 staff.
While the news could come as a shot in the arm to independent and online retailers, it comes as blow to tens of thousands of workers.
The UK High Street suffered one of its worst years in 2018 with several retailers shutting their doors and plaguing homes across the country with job losses.
And this year looks to be following a similar pattern, with the fashion brand L.K Bennett and Jamie’s Italian among those filing for administration.
The American drug store chain Walgreens acquired a 45% stake in Alliance Boots in 2012 and in 2014, Walgreens Boots Alliance was created.
WBA has now placed more than 200 outlets under review, according to Sky News. Sources told Sky that while no decisions had yet been made, a ‘significant number’ of stores were likely to be shut.
Boots employs about 60,000 staff and has 2,500 UK shops. It said sales fell 1.3 per cent in the three months to February.
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