Boots store closures - jobs at risk' following profit warning

Jobs could be at risk if Boots has to close stores.
Jobs could be at risk if Boots has to close stores.
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Thousands of jobs could be at risk as Boots stores face potential closure after its American owner issued a profit warning.

Walgreens Boots Alliance said it had suffered its "most difficult quarter" ever and has warned that it now needs to take "decisive steps to reduce costs in the UK."

"Most difficult quarter" ever

A Boots spokesperson told the Mirror that stores are being reviewed, with poor performing ones being reviewed and opportunities for "consolidation" being looked into.

It comes after the company announced that 350 jobs were at risk at its Nottingham headquarters, and underwent the reshuffling of stores, earlier this year.

Walgreens Boots Alliance currently employs around 60,000 people in the UK. Its stores sell beauty products as well as offer pharmacy and NHS walk in services.

60,000 employed

It is also a large pharmacy chain in the US, where the company said it had been facing difficulty due to competition and falling drug prices.

A spokesperson for the company said it was working to save £1.1 billion by 2022.

However, this news comes as Boots is undergoing its biggest makeover in 170 years, with a new store planned for Covent Garden where a Marks and Spencer used to be.

The company signed a 20-year deal for the rent of the shop, which will set it back £3.3 million a year.

Radical changes

It is part of Executive Director Seb James' plan to make "radical changes" to the company in order to compete with the shift to online retailers.

Speaking at a Retail Week conference, he said he wants to make Boots the beauty destination of choice by scrapping traditional beauty counters and introducing live demonstration areas manned by more than 200 specialists.

He said: "If we're going to make Boots the place you choose for beauty, we will need to make radical change. We have been behind the curve, no question."

Union Usdaw is calling on Walgreeens Boots to enter into talk about the potential job losses.

Spokesman Daniel Adams, said to the Mirror: "This is clearly very worrying news for the staff in all Boots stores and the Union will be doing all it can to support members during this difficult time.

"We would urge the company to engage with Usdaw as the trade union for Boots staff to ensure that all avenues to minimise job losses are explored during this critical time."