Belfast Telegraph

Boots confirms the closure of south Belfast pharmacy

Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Health and beauty chain Boots has confirmed it's closing a store in south Belfast.

The Local Pharmacy shop on Saintfield Road will shut at the end of August.

Last month Boots confirmed plans to shut 200 locations around the UK, mainly smaller-format local pharmacies.

A spokesman for the company said: "At Boots UK, we continually review our store locations to make sure they are where our customers need us most.

"It is never a decision we take lightly when looking to close a store.

"With this in mind, we can confirm that our store on Saintfield Road in Belfast will be closing at the end of August.

"There are a number of alternative pharmacies nearby to continue caring for patients. All affected colleagues have been offered jobs in other Boots stores."

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The chain, which has a total of 80 stores around Northern Ireland, operates a health and beauty store in Forestside Shopping Centre close to the Saintfield Road, though the larger store does not include a pharmacy.

However, the chain refused to respond to a query as to whether any of its other locations around Northern Ireland would be affected by the store closure plan. It would not say how many of its 80 stores here are local pharmacies.

Last month the retail chain said its owner, Walgreens Boots Alliance, had approved a plan which will see primarily local pharmacy branches shut down in locations where there are other stores nearby.

It is unclear how many jobs in total around the UK will be affected by the move, with Boots promising to find new roles for staff where possible.

The changes are part of wide-ranging cost cutting plans by Walgreens, which said that profits have been hit by declining retail sales in the US and UK.

Boots opened its first Northern Ireland store in Belfast's Cornmarket in 1966.

Belfast Telegraph