HUNDREDS of Boots stores could be closed in a fresh retail blow, it has been reported.
The chain is considering closing more than 200 shops, Sky News has claimed.
Alamy Two hundred Boots stores are being considered for closure
It has been reported the American owner of the outlet, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has placed the stores under review – considering closure in the next two years.
Sources claimed no official decision has been made but acknowledge that a “significant number” of Boots branches were likely to be shut.
If the pharmacy and beauty chain closed 200 stores it would be reducing the number of high street branches by 10 per cent.
A source told Sky News that some of the affected stores are likely to close when their leases end while others will shut down in towns where there is more than one branch.
Boots could close shops after shock profit warning by US parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance
They added that where possible staff would be relocated to stores that remain open.
Boots is one of Britain’s largest retailers with more than 2,500 branched, including opticians and hearing specialists, and employs around 56,000 people across the UK.
If WBA do decide to go ahead with the closures then it will be the latest high street retailer to make cut backs to meet consumers’ changing shopping habits.
Last week, Marks & Spencer announced that it is considering closing more stores as part of a restructure.
Debenhams, Mothercare and New Look have also all closed stores over the past year in a bid to scale back outgoings.
Sir Philip Green has set out plans to close dozens of stores in his Arcadia empire, including Top Shop and Dorothy Perkins as part of a proposed Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA).
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Boots has been owned by New York-based private equity firm WBA since 2012.
Last year, the beauty chain saw it’s profits fall by more than 18 per cent and now aims to cut costs by £1.2billion by the 2022 financial year.
In April this year, we reported how the retailer had hinted that it could close shops and axe 60,000 UK staff after a shock profit warning.
A spokesperson for Boots told The Sun: “We currently do not have a major programme envisaged, but as you’d expect we always review underperforming stores and seek out opportunities for consolidation.
“As is natural with a business of our size, we have stores opening, closing and relocating on a regular basis, but we have had around 2,500 stores open for several years now.”
They added: “We are being realistic about the future and that we will need to be agile to adapt to the changing landscape.”
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