Boots, the UK’s largest pharmacy retailer, has announced that it is cutting 700 jobs as part of a restructuring and cost reduction programme following the merger between Alliance Boots and the US pharmacy chain Walgreens.
The company, encompassing Boots UK, Boots Ireland and Boots Opticians, plans to axe 400 support office roles at its headquarters in Nottingham with the balance being met by roles outside the headquarters. The company says that none of the job losses will come from its pharmacy or optical stores.
There will be redundancies but the company says it hopes to achieve some reduction in roles through natural wastage, retraining and redeployment.
“We have not taken these decisions lightly, and understand the impact that today’s announcement may have on our colleagues,” Boots president Simon Roberts said in a statement issued on 8 June 2015.
“We are fully committed to doing everything we can to support all our people as we transform Boots and strive to be even better for our customers and patients.”
The job losses are part of a wider business plan that includes investing in technology, simplifying support operations and focusing on customer engagement.
The merger between Alliance Boots and Walgreens was approved by shareholders in December 2014. The intention, according to the companies at the time, was to create the first “global pharmacy-led health and wellbeing enterprise”.