'Hugely bad news' as Boots with 2,200 branches set to permanently close more stores | The Sun

AN MP has branded the closure of two Boots stores in his constituency "hugely bad news".

David Jones, who represents Clwyd West in North Wales, said he was "dismayed" the branches will close in 2024.

The pharmacy chain is pulling down the shutters on its site in Rhos on Sea in March next year.

The retailer will then close its shop in Colywn Bay the following month.

In a statement, MP David Jones branded the closures "hugely bad news for the local community".

He said: "This is not a case of simple shop closures.

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"Pharmacies play an important role in the delivery of health care, and many people will be extremely worried as to how they will be able to obtain essential medicines."

He added: "It is another body blow for the local retail economy.

"The Colwyn Bay store is an important element of the once-vibrant Station Road shopping centre, which has already seen the closure of several other prominent stores, including WHSmith."

It comes after Boots announced plans to massively consolidate its portfolio of 2,200 UK stores to 1,900.

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A number of branches have already closed, including in Flintshire, Wales.

Sites have also shut in Leicester, York, Plymouth and Exeter, while stores in Wigan and Norwich will close in early 2024.

Residents have been left devastated at the news of the closures.

One, commenting on the closure of their branch in Pemberton, Wigan, said: "Whatever the reason, it’s very bad news."

Another, discussing the loss of their local shop in Kirkby in Ashfield, added: "Boots closing these stores is an accident waiting to happen."

But Boots isn't the only retailer to closing stores across the UK.

A number of other chains are struggling as shoppers turn their backs on the high street and opt for online retail instead.

According to The Centre for Retail Research, online shopping accounted for over 26% of the total UK market in 2022.

High inflation has squeezed consumers budgets too.

Combined with rising energy and wage costs for businesses, a number have been forced to close.

In January, Argos announced plans to close all its stores in the Republic of Ireland following a "thorough review" of its business and operations in the country.

A number of retailers have fallen into administration in the last two years too, including Wilko, M&Co and Paperchase.

But it's not all bad news as some retailers have announced plans to open sites in recent months.

KFC revealed to The Sun it would open a swathe of new branches across the UK between November this year and early 2024.

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Meanwhile, Sainsbury's is shaking up its portfolio, closing eight branches but opening 14 in the coming months.

The Sun contacted Boots for comment.

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