Residents start petition after finding out major pharmacy with 2,000 chemists is shutting in ANOTHER location | The Sun

RESIDENTS have started a petition after finding out that a major high street pharmacy chain is closing a chemist in another location.

Boots is set to close another chemist as part of the health and beauty retailer's plans to shut 300 stores this financial year. 

The Boots chemist on Southmead Road, Bristol has been listed for closure in mid-January 2024.

In response, local residents have established a petition to prevent the closure.

Neil Goldsmith, who is part of the group opposing the closure, told BBC News: "The news has come as a real blow to us.

"The branch is particularly important for those in the local community who have no means of transport and a significant proportion of the customers walk to the branch as it is surrounded by residential streets."

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The Sun has contacted Boots for comment.

Boots is set to close several more stores in the coming months as part of its plan to shut 300 shops over the next year.

The pharmacy chain will be closing the following branches:

  • Gorleston, Great Yarmouth – November
  • High Row, Darlington – November 3
  • Mudge Way, Plymouth – November 18
  • Mount Pleasant, Exeter – November 18
  • Kirkby Ashfield – November 18
  • Cambridge Road, Stanstead – January 6
  • Margate, Kent – January 20
  • Wood Street, Swindon – February 9
  • Front Street, Prudhoe – no date

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It comes as the retailer looks to consolidate its portfolio of UK outlets from 2,200 to 1,900 in the coming months.

The stores that have already closed in 2023 are as follows:

  • Salford Shopping Centre, Greater Manchester – February 2023
  • Church Street, Malvern – March 11
  • The Port Arcades Shopping Centre, Ellesmere – March 11
  • King William Street, London – June 2
  • Heathside Road, Woking – end of July
  • UEA campus – end of July
  • Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff – August 1
  • Holywell, Flintshire (Wales) – August 26
  • Windhill Road, Wakefield – October 6
  • Upper Warrengate, Wakefield – October 7

The health and beauty chain has promised no staff members will be made redundant.

Instead, affected Boots staff members will be offered opportunities in other stores in the local area.

Boots closed more than 200 stores over an eighteen-month period starting in 2019.

This meant around eight per cent of its high street stores closed.

Pharmacies across the UK have struggled for years due to cuts in government funding and the soaring cost of medicine.

Why are retailers closing branches?

The cost of living crisis, stubbornly high inflation and energy costs are taking their toll on retailers.

Shoppers have been cutting back spending, while the cost of actually running a store has also increased, meaning some outlets have struggled to keep going.

Figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) this summer found the UK had lost 6,000 stores over a five-year period.

Several major brands have also collapsed and closed stores for good.

Wilko's fall in August marked the biggest British retail collapse since McColl's plunged into administration in May last year.

Paperchase collapsed into administration at the end of January this year and all 106 stores closed for good.

Scottish clothing brand M&Co and wellies retailer Joules were among a host of other familiar brands that went bust in 2022.

But shoppers still have reason to be cheerful as other retailers are actually expanding this year.

The Sun recently revealed discount retailer Costco is expanding in the UK and is planning to open 14 more warehouses over the next two years.

Bonmarche is opening at least seven new stores after filing for administration in 2019, while The White Company is due to open new stores in October and November.

Once-huge bakery chain Patisserie Valerie, which also collapsed into administration and closed most of its stores, has started reopening branches, as revealed by the Sun.

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Wilko shops are also set to return to the UK high street after the chain collapsed earlier this year.

We also recently revealed bakeries Wenzels, Greggs, Dunkin' Donuts and The Cornish Bakery are all in the process of expanding in the UK.

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