Boots to cut 4,000 jobs

Boots is to cut 4,000 jobs, close 48 of its Opticians stores and implement a major restructuring of its Nottingham office.

It has seen sales plummet during lockdown but like many retailers had already been going through a reorganisation of its business and reviewing its extensive high street presence.

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.”

It has emerged that the disruption caused by Covid-19 on Boots’ UK outlets cost the firm £1.6bn.

Scott Knowles, chief executive of East Midlands Chamber said: “This is going to be a very difficult time for everyone who is affected by these job losses and our thoughts are with these people.

“What this highlights very starkly is the scale of the challenge facing the UK economy as a whole, and retail in particular. That’s why it’s important the Government brings through measures that support a safe reopening of the economy – giving consumers confidence to spend, and reassure businesses there is a future for them to be investing in their staff and services.”