Boots to axe more than 4,000 roles on worst day for job losses since lockdown

High street giant Boots has announced plans to axe more than 4,000 jobs because of the coronavirus crisis.

Thursday, 9th July 2020, 1:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th July 2020, 1:17 pm
Passers-by walk in front of a Boots Store (Photo credit should read Leon Neal/AFP via Getty Images)

The pharmacy chain said the job losses are needed to mitigate the ‘significant impact’ of Covid-19.

The move will affect around seven per cent of the company's workforce and will particularly affect staff in its Nottingham support office.

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It will also affect some deputy and assistant manager, beauty adviser and customer adviser roles across its stores.

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The restructuring will also result in the closure of 48 Boots Opticians stores.

It comes after retail sales tumbled by 48 per cent over the past three months, despite Boots keeping swathes of its stores open to customers.

Meanwhile, its opticians business saw sales dive by 72 per cent compared to the same quarter last year as people stayed at home.

Boots said that the cuts represent an ‘acceleration’ of its transformation plans to improve profitably 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.

“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.”

John Lewis, Burger King and Rolls-Royce have also announced job losses today.