Earlier today it has been revealed that Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has placed more than 200 outlets under review for closure during the next two years. Sources close to the company said 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 announced 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 they went through with the closure of the 200-plus shops being examined, it would only affect around 10% of the stores they currently have open and subsequently the same amount of jobs.
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. Employing around 56,000 people, Boots is one of the largest retailers in the UK by store numbers and also trades from about 1100 opticians and hearing-care shops which use its brand, Boots have been knocking about our high streets for years although like many retailers have now started to feel the pinch of the shift online. Some of the biggest names in British retailing, including Debenhams, Homebase, Mothercare and New Look, have turned to formal restructuring processes to reduce their footprints and cut rents across their shops. Sir Philip Green, who owns the clothing empire, Arcadia Group who contain brands such as Dorothy Perkin & Topshop, last week set out plans for a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) that will, if approved by creditors, lead to dozens of store closures.
Our high streets are now becoming deserts as consumers behaviour shifts to online buying. How much longer can the highstreet survive? Be sure to follow our facebook page for news on whether your local boots store will be closed.