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Boots stores under review amid cost cuts

THE owner of Boots has warned of store closures as it looks to slash costs after its ‘most difficult’ quarter.

US-based Walgreens Boots Alliance said it was reviewing its 2,500 UK Boots retail stores and looking at poor performing shops as well as ‘opportunities for consolidation’.

It revealed in February that 350 jobs are at risk in its Nottingham head office amid plans to trim staff costs there by 20 per cent. The group also wants to overhaul its pharmacy business.

Yesterday Walgreens Boots Alliance reported a 2.3 per cent drop in like-for-like retail sales in its second quarter to February 28, while comparable pharmacy sales fell 1.5 per cent. The wider group also warned over full-year earnings after tough trading in the US, with boss Stefano Pessina branding it ‘the most difficult quarter’ yet.

Mr Pessina admitted the group had not acted fast enough to offset ‘challenging conditions’ but he planned to ramp up global cost-cutting targets.