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Boots plays down closure speculation

Boots has played down reports that its owner Walgreen Boots Alliance is considering closing more than 200 stores in England as part of a review of its pharmacy business portfolio by insisting it does “not have a major programme envisaged.”

Reports recently emerged that a review of almost 2,500 Boots stores, at a time when Walgreens Boots Alliance is looking to reduce its costs by £790 billion globally, could culminate in closures.

According to Sky, Walgreens Boots Alliance put the stores under review having last month said it had started looking at “low-performing stores and opportunities for consolidation.”

However, a Boots spokesperson told ICP: “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.

“In fact we’re investing in our stores. Last year, we completed a huge merchandising project to update our self-selection cosmetics areas in 2,200 of our stores.

“We have recently announced the planned opening of a new flagship store in Covent Garden, London, and the reinvention of our beauty business in 24 stores across the UK.

“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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