All 281 Sainsbury’s pharmacies officially became Lloydspharmacy branches on 1 September 2016 as part of a £125m takeover deal agreed in July 2015 between J Sainsbury Plc and Celesio UK.
Of these, 277 are in-store pharmacies based at Sainsbury’s supermarkets and four are outpatient pharmacies in hospitals. Under the terms of the deal, more than 2,500 new pharmacy staff have moved over to LloydsPharmacy.
All 277 Sainsbury’s pharmacies have been linked to a ‘buddy’ Lloydspharmacy store and a colleague from each of those stores will visit their Lloydspharmacy buddy branch in Sainsbury’s on 1 September 2016 to meet their new colleagues and provide operational support on the first day. Integration coaches have been appointed to support the stores and ensure a smooth transition into the Lloydspharmacy business. These coaches will visit the pharmacy teams at each new store during the first week.
Rebranding the pharmacies and introducing Lloydspharmacy service-led approaches has started and the programme is expected to be completed within eight months.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) approved Celesio’s takeover of Sainsbury’s pharmacy business in July 2016 on the condition that the company sold 12 of its existing Lloydspharmacy stores. These stores were in areas where the two companies’ pharmacies were in close enough competition that Lloydspharmacy would be disincentivised from trying to attract new customers after the merger.
“Lloyds might be able to reduce service quality to increase profits without being concerned about losing customers to a rival,” the CMA Inquiry chairman said.