Boots has revealed actions to address the impact of COVID-19 on the business, accelerating the Boots Transformation Plan.
The plan includes a reorganisation of the Boots store employee structure, the closure of 48 Boots Opticians stores and an additional 20 percent headcount reduction in the Nottingham support office.
These reorganisation actions will impact more than 4,000 positions.
The news comes after footfall into Boots stores has dramatically reduced and follows the closure of over 100 larger stores in city centre, station and airport locations in lockdown alongside the majority of Boots Opticians practices.
These factors have severely impacted comparable retail sales, which decreased 48 per cent for Boots UK and 72 per cent for Boots Opticians in the third quarter (versus last year).
Sebastian James, Managing Director, Boots UK, said: “The proposals announced today are decisive actions to accelerate our Transformation Plan, allow Boots to continue its vital role as part of the UK health system, and ensure profitable long-term growth. In doing this, we are building a stronger and more modern Boots for our customers, patients and colleagues.
“I am so very grateful to all our colleagues for their dedication during the last few challenging months. They have stepped forward to support their communities, our customers and the NHS during this time, and I am extremely proud to be serving alongside them.
“We recognise that today’s proposals will be very difficult for the remarkable people who make up the heart of our business, and we will do everything in our power to provide the fullest support during this time.”
Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), said: “This is going to be a very difficult time for everyone who is affected by these job losses and our thoughts are with these people.
“What this highlights very starkly is the scale of the challenge facing the UK economy as a whole, and retail in particular. That’s why it’s important the Government brings through measures that support a safe reopening of the economy – giving consumers confidence to spend, and reassure businesses there is a future for them to be investing in their staff and services.”