Republic not on Boots's shop closure list

Republic not on Boots's shop closure list

Retail pharmacy giant Boots has confirmed that its store network in the Republic will not be affected by its decision to close up to 200 shops.

Sebastian James, Boots' UK and Ireland boss, confirmed on Friday that parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance has approved a plan to "consolidate" around 200 stores that are located in close proximity to other Boots outlets.

However, while the company said it has only started "the optimisation process" and specific stores cannot be confirmed yet, a spokesman confirmed the closures will not impact the Republic, where there are 87 stores.

He could not confirm if any shop closures will occur in the North, however.

Most of the closures will affect the UK and particularly stores that are already loss-making and are within walking distance of other Boots stores.

The earmarked shops represent around 8% of Boots' UK store network and closing them will hit the group's revenue by just 1%.

"There's no doubt that trading conditions are tough on the high street and healthcare and retail are facing a challenging reality. Boots is not immune to these pressures," Mr James said.

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 ten-minute drive of a Boots.

"We're still a very successful company with a phenomenal presence in the UK, but we need to take some tough decisions to transform the fundamentals of our business, building on our 170-year legacy, to ensure our future growth...What we're doing is about ensuring our future success," Mr James said.

Last week Walgreens Boots Alliance reported a 1.6% drop in international sales over the three months to the end of May. That was mainly attributed to a 1% sales decline across its UK shops.

US sales were up 2.3%, and overall the group's quarterly sales increased by 0.7% to $34.6bn.

The business said, in April, that it would be reviewing its 2,500 store network in the UK in a bid to cut costs.

Boots' Irish operations grew pre-tax profits by 12%, to €24.1m, last year, and saw revenues rise 2% to €386.2m.

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