Boots considering closure of 200 stores

Boots Credit: PA

Pharmacy giant Boots is considering closing around 200 stores in an attempt to revive the company's fortunes.

This latest blow to Britain's high street could put hundreds of jobs at risk.

Last month, Walgreen Boots Alliance, Boots' owners, told its shareholders that it planned to take "decisive action" to cut costs at its Boots business in the UK.

On Tuesday, a source close to the company confirmed to ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills that it has drawn up a list of around 200 stores which it is considering closing in the next two years.

Currently in the UK, Boots has just under 2,500 stores and employs 56,000 staff - 6,500 of whom are pharmacists.

Some 200 Boots branches could close. Credit: PA

Boots has been up against it for some time: retail sales, pharmacy sales are falling, yet according to GlobalData, more than £1 in every £6 that is spent on health and beauty products in the UK is still spent at Boots.

But over the last 10 years Boots has been losing business to the discounters - Aldi and Lidl, B&M - and online retailers like Amazon.

Boots is being hit by ferocious competition and the decline of footfall on the high street as spending moves online.

In a statement Boots neither confirmed nor denied that it is to close shops, saying: "We always review under-performing stores and seek out opportunities for consolidation."

It added that in the last 12 months it has invested in 2,200 of its stores, but is "realistic about the future and... the changing landscape" of retail.