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Boots could close Wednesfield store amid 'struggling UK market'

By Jamie Brassington | Wednesfield | Business | Published:

A Boots store in Wolverhampton is under threat from closure as part of cost-cutting plans.

The shop, in High Street, Wednesfield, is currently under review by Boots, which is owned by American pharmacy company Walgreens.

It comes after Boots announced in June that it could close 200 stores across the UK over the next 18 months.

A letter was sent to Wednesfield staff from its head office outlining the proposal.

A copy of the letter sent to staff

The letter, which was written by an area manager, said: "I can now inform you that 408 Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, is currently under review.

"Whilst this means that this store may close or may be consolidated with a nearby store, the final decision has not been made until the review has been completed.

"The store's performance will be monitored and considered with any final decision. I appreciate the level of uncertainty this brings."

'Consolidate'

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Sebastian James, managing director of Boots UK and Ireland, said in June that Walgreen Boots Alliance, the parent company, had decided to consolidate around 200 local stores.

A lot of these stores will be local pharmacy branches located close to other stores, such as the Wednesfield branch.

It is unclear how many jobs will be affected by the plans, but Boots has promised to find new roles for staff where possible.

A Boots spokesman said: “As a business with a large estate, we continually review our store locations to make sure they are where our customers need us most, particularly in light of the challenging market conditions in the UK.

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"The store team are aware that our Wednesfield store in Wolverhampton is currently under review, but no decisions have been made.”

The review into the Wednesfield store follows what Boots claims is challenging marketing conditions in the UK.

Walgreens' profits have been hit by declining retail sales in the US and UK.

Mr James said in June: "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 per cent coverage within a 10 minute drive of a Boots.

“We do not anticipate a significant effect from this activity to colleagues as we will redeploy the overwhelming majority to neighbouring stores.”

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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