Boots to close 200 stores – will Coventry be affected?

The chemist confirmed that it is reviewing its outlets for possible closure over the next two years.

Boots has confirmed plans to close 200 stores but says the “overwhelming majority” of staff affected will be redeployed.

The health and beauty chain said on Friday that closures will take place over the next 18 months.

Shutting 200 shops would equate to just under 10% of the Boots UK standalone outlets.

With around 56,000 employees, Boots is one of the UK’s largest retailers by store numbers and also trades from about 1,100 opticians and hearing care shops which use its brand.

The company joins other major high street giants reviewing their store portfolios, as consumers’ shift to digital channels accelerates.

Some of the biggest names in British retailing, including Debenhams, Homebase, Mothercare and New Look, have all turned to formal restructuring processes to reduce stores and cut rents across their estates.

Will any Coventry stores be affected?

It’s unclear so far.

US owner Wallgreen Boots Alliance said it could not confirm specific stores earmarked at this stage, as it had only just started the process.

However, Boots UK’s managing director Sebastian James did say: “WBA has now approved an outline plan to consolidate around 200, principally local pharmacy stores where we have a large number within close proximity.

“We believe this is the right thing to do as it means that we can invest more in staffing those stores while not reducing our 90% coverage within a 10-minute drive of a Boots.”

With 21 stores in Coventry, it’s certainly possible that the city will be affected by store closures.

North of the city centre, there are two Boots store within a 2-minute drive of one another, those being on Radford Road and Moseley Avenue. While in Cheylesmore, Daventry Road has two Boots stores, with a further Boots pharmacy just a 2-minute drive away at Oasis Healthcentre.

It’s these kind of close proximity stores that WBA are targeting in their closures.