Lloyds Pharmacy puts all 1,300 branches 'at risk' of closure in major blow for high street

3 March 2023, 11:00

THE owner of Lloyds Pharmacy has put all of its 1,300 chemist branches at risk of closure
THE owner of Lloyds Pharmacy has put all of its 1,300 chemist branches at risk of closure. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Lloyds Pharmacy has put all of its 1,300 UK branches 'at risk' of closure in a major blow for the high street.

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The chemist's private equity owner launched a strategic review of its entire UK store base, with the sale or closure of them all on the cards, it is understood.

Lloyds Pharmacy already announced the closure of 237 of its chemists in Sainsbury’s supermarkets by the end of the year, having also shut 76 stores in 2022.

Cuts were made following a review which blamed “changing market conditions”.

Boss of the chain Kevin Birch said at the time: “This decision has not been an easy one and we understand that our patients and customers may have questions about how the change will affect them.

“We would like to thank them for their continued support and assure them that we are committed to providing a smooth transition over the coming months."

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Pharmacists play a key role in providing services to local neighbourhoods but have struggled to remain open in recents years for many reasons, including the level of reimbursements they receive from the NHS.

They have also faced the added pressure of supporting the crippling health service, providing extra services such as vaccinations during the pandemic.

Lloyds Pharmacy employs over 17,000 members of staff across the business, with around 150 million prescriptions given out every year.

A spokesperson for Lloyds told The Sun: “LloydsPharmacy regularly reviews its pharmacy estate to ensure it is operating sustainably and any decision to sell stores is taken in the interests of patients, colleagues and the business.

“At all times, patient safety remains our top priority ensuring that our customers and patients are always able to access vital prescriptions, health advice, products and services.”

It comes after the business - which operates around 10 per cent of UK pharmacies - was sold to private equity firm Aurelius for £477 million.

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