With the announcement that the company that owns Boots could close 200 of its stores, it’s no surprise people immediately asked “what about Bedford?”
At present though, the news about Walgreen’s potential plans couldn’t be more vague, and as yet no one knows what is or isn’t going to happen to any Boots store anywhere.
The concerns came when Sky News reported earlier today that Walgreens was considering the closures.
This speculation has been fuelled by reports from last month, when Walgreen’s announced it may have to look at store closures after experiencing the “most difficult quarter” in its history.
But Boots has not confirmed any closures and, even if it is planing to close any, it hasn’t said which ones are in the firing line.
Of course, we don’t know what decisions may be made in the future. But, rather than speculate, let’s look at the facts as they stand right now:
- Boots, has 2,485 stores across the UK and employs about 56,000 staff
- The company has recently invested in its cosmetics areas
- They’re planning a new flagship store in Covent Garden
- Bedford has two Boots stores. One at the Harpur Centre and one in the Interchange Retail Park
- Walgreens has said that they will need to take “decisive action” to reduce costs
- They have said they are reviewing underperforming stores as well as looking at “opportunities for consolidation”
In a statement a spokesperson for Boots UK added: “We currently do not have a major [closure] programme envisaged, but as you’d expect we always review underperforming stores and seek out opportunities for consolidation.
“As is natural with a business of our size, we have stores opening, closing and relocating on a regular basis, but we have had around 2,500 stores open for several years now.
“In fact we’re investing in our stores – last year, we completed a huge merchandising project to update our self-selection cosmetics areas in 2,200 of our stores.
“We have recently announced the planned opening of a new flagship store in Covent Garden, London and the reinvention of our beauty business in 24 stores across the UK.
We are being realistic about the future and that we will need to be agile to adapt to the changing landscape.”
The Independent also reports that jobs at Boots’ Nottingham head office are also at risk. In February they announced that 350 jobs could go to cut staff costs by 20%.
Ways to overhaul its pharmacy business are also being considered.