LloydsPharmacy ceases operating 90% of branches in 18 months

Exclusive: LloydsPharmacy is running 138 pharmacies in October 2023, compared with 1,338 pharmacies in March 2022, General Pharmaceutical Council figures show.
lloydspharmacy shopfront

LloydsPharmacy is currently operating 138 branches, almost 90% fewer than it ran in March 2022, an analysis of General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) data by The Pharmaceutical Journal has revealed.

GPhC figures show that LloydsPharmacy was operating 1,338 branches in March 2022, and that 1,597 pharmacies were registered in January 2019.

By comparison, in October 2023, Boots was operating 2,019 pharmacies, Well had 736 pharmacies, and Rowlands had 399 pharmacies.

The figures follow several announcements in 2023 that LloydsPharmacy was either planning to withdraw some pharmacy services or had sold off parts of its pharmacy business.

Speaking at The Pharmacy Show on 15 October 2023, Janet Morrison, chief executive of Community Pharmacy England, suggested that LloydsPharmacy had “exited the [pharmacy] market”.

Commenting on pharmacy closures more widely, she told the audience: “I’d like to reassure people, my whole committee are business owners and work in pharmacy businesses, so we’re fully aware of the crisis and it is unprecedented.

“I think even when I arrived in my job last March, and we would talk to governmental ministers or whomever, and we’d say there’s a crisis, I think they were still a bit sceptical. Like ‘well, you know, we haven’t seen the closures’.

“Certainly, when Lloyds exited the market. I was at a meeting with the minister where it was splurged, not by me, but it was splurged, and I saw the alarm on his face. And I know that that caused a lot of concern.”

In January 2023, LloydsPharmacy announced it would withdraw pharmacy services from all Sainsbury’s supermarkets, affecting 237 branches, following what the company said at the time was a “strategic review of its operations in response to changing market conditions”.

Following on from this, in May 2023, Rowlands Pharmacy announced that it had bought 30 pharmacies in Scotland, which were previously LloydsPharmacy branches.

On 9 October 2023, online pharmacy Pharmacy2U announced it had bought LloydsDirect, an online pharmacy that had previously been part of LloydsPharmacy.

The Hallo Healthcare Group, owner of Lloyds Pharmacy, told The Pharmaceutical Journal that it had been reviewing the shape of its group and that, as part of this, it had sold branches over the past year.

It added that most of its pharmacies were being bought by independent pharmacy owners and local businesspeople.

Hallo Healthcare said it continues to operate LP healthcare services, which provide specialist pharmaceutical dispensing and specialised services to the NHS and the private sector in a range of settings, including NHS trusts, NHS mental health trusts and prisons.

  • The headline of this article was updated on 18 October 2023 to reflect that LloydsPharmacy has not closed down 90% of its branches, but has sold a proportion of them
Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, October 2023, Vol 311, No 7978;311(7978)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2023.1.198571

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