BOOTS has confirmed plans to close 200 stores across the UK over the next 18 months.

The health and beauty chain store Boots said on Friday that closures will take place over the next 18 months.

Shutting 200 shops would equate to just under 10% of the Boots UK standalone outlets.

US owner Wallgreen Boots Alliance said it could not confirm specific stores earmarked at this stage, as it had only just started the process.

Boots is one of Britain’s largest retailers with more than 2,400 branches and 62,000 staff members across the UK.

It says that an “overwhelming majority” of staff affected will be redeployed. We’ve asked Boots how many will be impacted and we’ll update this story as soon as we get a response.

Many of the stores are set to shut because they’re loss-making while around two-thirds of them are within walking distance of each other.

Boots UK’s managing director Sebastian James said: “WBA has now approved an outline plan to consolidate around 200, principally local pharmacy, stores where we have a large number within close proximity.

“We believe this is the right thing to do as it means that we can invest more in staffing those stores while not reducing our 90% coverage within a 10-minute drive of a Boots.

“We do not anticipate a significant effect from this activity to colleagues as we will redeploy the overwhelming majority to neighbouring stores.

Last year, its profits fell by more than 18 per cent and now aims to cut costs by £1.2billion by the 2022 financial year.

The closures mean it will be the latest high street retailer to make cut backs to meet consumers’ changing shopping habits.

Editor: Judy Smith Source from sky news and Sun