Boots to close 60 stores over next week and will redeploy pharmacists to busier stores

8 April 2020, 20:00

Boots will temporarily close 60 of its branches and redeploy its pharmacists
Boots will temporarily close 60 of its branches and redeploy its pharmacists. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Boots is set to temporarily close 60 of its branches from next week in order to move pharmacists tackling coronavirus to busier stores.

The iconic high street chain said the majority of the shops affected would be in locations where footfall has significantly decreased following the Covid-19 outbreak, such as in airports, retail outlets and in central London.

Workers will be moved to nearby branches to help local community pharmacies that "are seeing more than double the number of people requiring prescriptions."

Among the staff being moved to busier stores are pharmacists, healthcare workers and those in store management.

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"We need to make sure that we have enough colleagues playing their vital role where it’s currently most needed and that we can send home those colleagues who are working in stores that are not busy," a company statement read.

"To achieve this, we are temporarily closing a small number of stores that are very quiet at this time."

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Some workers that are not needed will instead be sent home for their safety.

The first set of shops - all in London - will be closed on Friday 10 April. The second wave of stores - across the whole of the UK - will shut by Wednesday 15 April.

Dozens of Boots branches will close despite providing an essential service
Dozens of Boots branches will close despite providing an essential service. Picture: PA

Boots reassured the public that they have 2,400 branches across the country and, in most cases, each closed shop will have another store "usually within a few minutes’ walk."

A spokesperson for Boots said: "All over the country, we are working tirelessly to support the NHS and to provide our customers with the advice, healthcare, medicine and products that they need.

"We are committed to being there for the people that need us and we will not leave a community without a pharmacy.

"We would like to thank our colleagues for their work and our customers for their support and generosity.”

Full list of London Boots stores to close from 10 April

London Stratford City
London Covent Garden Long Acre
London White City Shopping Centre Ariel Way
London 193 Oxford Street
London Piccadilly
London 508-520 Oxford Street
London 16 Tottenham Court Road
London 100 Oxford Street
London Canary Wharf Jubilee
London Moorgate High Street
London Cannon Street
London 302 Regent Street
London Monument
London Fenchurch Street
London Farringdon Road
London Strand temp store
London Paternoster Square
London New Bridge Street
London Canary Wharf Cabot Square
London Houndsditch
London 211 Tottenham Court Road
London High Holborn
London Victoria Cardinal Place
London One New Change Shopping Centre
London Liverpool Street Station

A majority of the Boots stores set to close will be in London locations
A majority of the Boots stores set to close will be in London locations. Picture: PA

Full list of UK Boots stores to close from 15 April

Manchester Trafford Centre
Leeds Trinity
Gateshead Metro Centre
Edinburgh 101Princes Street
Liverpool Clayton Square Shopping Centre
Dartford Bluewater Park
Bristol Cribbs Causeway
London Charing Cross Station
London Victoria Place
London Kings Cross Station
London Kings Cross Station
Birmingham New Street Station
Liverpool Lime Street Station
Newcastle Central Station
Reading Station Over Bridge
Edinburgh Waverly Street Station
London Marylebone Station
London Bridge Station
Newcastle Airport after security
Glasgow Airport after security
Birm Airport before security
Leeds Bradford after security
Aberdeen Airport airside departure lounge
Heathrow T2 before security arrivals
Heathrow T3 after security
Heathrow T3 before security depart
Heathrow T4 before security arrivals
Heathrow T4 after security
Gatwick South after security lower
Newry Buttercrane Shopping Centre
Caerphilly Castle Court
Ballymena Fairhill Shopping Centre
Stockport Peel Shopping Centre
Newry The Quays Shopping Centre
Belfast Great Northern Mall