Boots to cut 4,000 jobs blaming ‘significant impact’ of coronavirus

Business

High street chain Boots is planning to cut more than 4,000 jobs in a shake-up prompted by the “significant impact” of COVID-19.

The move will affect around 7% of the pharmacy retailer’s workforce, in particular at its Nottingham support office.

Store deputy and assistant manager and customer adviser roles across the country are also facing the axe, while 48 Boots Opticians stores will close.

The announcement marks another bleak day for jobs, as department store chain John Lewis revealed that eight of its shops were set to remain closed after the lockdown, resulting in 1,300 job losses.

Boots stores were among “essential” retailers allowed to stay open during the lockdown but still saw sales fall 48% over the last three months.

Boots, owned by US-listed Walgreens Boots Alliance, said that the cuts represented an “acceleration” of its transformation plans to improve profitability across the business.

Sebastian James, managing director of 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.

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“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.”

“In doing this, we are building a stronger and more modern Boots for our customers, patients and colleagues.

“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.”

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