The high street retailer for everyday essentials Boots is to close 300 of its stores across Britain over the next year.
The retail giant will be making the string of closures despite posting stronger sales over the last quarter.
The move will reduce the chain’s estate from 2,200 to 1,900 stores, and is understood to impact shops in close proximity to others. Although, it is not yet known which locations will be affected.
Despite the closures, Boots has said there are no proposed redundancies and instead, workers are to be deployed to other sites.
A spokesperson for Boots said: “Evolving the store estate in this way allows Boots to concentrate its team members where they are needed and focus investment more acutely in individual stores, with the ambition of consistently delivering an excellent and reliable service in a fresh and up-to-date environment.”
On Tuesday, the retailer revealed people opting to shop online has gone up significantly and people preferring Boots’ own-brand labels has driven up sales over its last quarter.
Boots, with its headquarters based in Nottingham, said its own ranges have been flying off the shelves as consumers have changed their shopping habits during the cost of living crisis and are looking to save money.
It came as the chain’s US owner, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), revealed its net quarterly profit more than halved as demand for Covid vaccines and testing declined.
In the three months until the end of May, Boots said its retail profits had risen by 13.4% when compared to the same period in 2022.
This was driven by a surge in online shoppers with its website sales rising by a quarter over the last period.
Boots said its own ‘everyday essentials’ brand, which includes toiletries and a number of personal care items, saw a growth of 40%, as more of the label’s products were sold.
The company has said this reflects households hunting for more affordable products amid the current climate as many are feeling the pinch of rising costs.
Earlier this year the chain attracted some controversy for changing the way its points card scheme worked, by offering discounted prices on more of its own-brand products, but reducing the points earned per pound.
According to the chain, more consumers are choosing to shop at Boots more often. However, personal care retailer Unilever has seen sales boosted by higher prices rather than more shoppers.
Boots said its beauty products and skincare ranges were best sellers over the latest period as sales were up 18%, and May recorded the biggest week outside of the Christmas period.
Seb James, managing director of Boots UK and ROI, said: “Our focus on offering our customers the best in healthcare and beauty, together with a continued commitment to great value, has been well received, and it is lovely to see more people choosing to shop with Boots.
“It is particularly pleasing to see our own brands proving popular, including an exceptional No7 performance.”
Wetherspoons to close 11 more pubs across the country with 33 already gone
Is your local Spoons up for sale?
After 33 closures already this year, Spoons have announced 11 more sites are to call last orders too.
The newest list of closures will affect a number of areas across the country including Todmorden, Moreton and Doncaster.
The budget pub chain previously announced it would be putting some of its pubs up for sale – that were in nearby locations to another existing site – due to the pressure of rising costs and inflation.
But punters don’t need to panic just yet, as the pubs won’t close until they have been sold.
Despite the closures Spoons has also opened branches, including The Square Peg in Birmingham and The Lord Palmerston in Southsea – after undergoing major refurbishments. The chain is also redeveloping pubs in Wakefield, central Cardiff and Glasgow, to the tune of around £8 million.
Wetherspoons currently boasts around 822 branches across the UK and recently announced its busiest-ever Saturday was during the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.
The 11 Wetherspoons pubs now up for sale:
- The Pontlottyn, Abertillery
- The Ivor Davies, Cardiff
- Spa Lane Vaults, Chesterfield
- The Gate House, Doncaster
- The Market Cross, Holywell
- The Regent, Kirkby in Ashfield
- The Mockbeggar Hall, Moreton
- The Hain Line, St Ives
- The Sir Norman Rae, Shipley
- The Sir Daniel Arms, Swindon
- The White Hart, Todmorden
These are just the Wetherspoon locations recently announced to be closing by the chain, but there are dozens more that have already closed this year.
The list of Wetherspoon locations that have closed are:
- The John Masefield, New Ferry
- Angel, Islington
- The Silkstone Inn, Barnsley
- The Billiard Hall, West Bromwich
- Admiral Sir Lucius Curtis, Southampton
- The Colombia Press, Watford
- The Malthouse, Willenhall
- The John Masefield, New Ferry
- Thomas Leaper, Derby
- Cliftonville, Hove
- Tollgate, Harringay
- Last Post, Loughton
- Harvest Moon, Orpington
- Alexander Bain, Wick
- Chapel an Gansblydhen, Bodmin
- Moon on the Square, Basildon
- Coal Orchard, Taunton
- Running Horse, Airside Doncaster Airport
- Wild Rose, Bootle
- Edmund Halley, Lee Green
- The Willow Grove, Southport
- Postal Order, Worcester
- North and South Wales Bank, Wrexham
- The Sir John Stirling Maxwell, Glasgow
- The Knight’s Templar, London
- Christopher Creeke, Bournemouth
- The Water House, Durham
- The Widow Frost, Mansfield
- The Worlds Inn, Romford
- Hudson Bay, Forest Gate
- The Saltoun Inn, Fraserburgh
- The Bankers Draft, Eltham, London
- The Sir John Arderne, Newark
Police issue update in search for missing grandad, 81, from Oldham
Officers are supporting Ronald’s family while they continue the search
Greater Manchester Police have issued an update on Ronald Webster, 81, who went missing from Oldham last Thursday.
The news comes after Ronald’s grandchildren made an appeal to the public asking for help to find their beloved grandad and to ‘keep him safe’ until they, or the police can get there.
It was believed the last sightings of the grandfather-of-five were at 10.52 am on Walkers Road, in Limeside, Oldham and again at 3.45pm as he got off the 184 at Huddersfield Bus Station, on September 14th.
However, police have confirmed a new sighting of the pensioner, known by loved ones as ‘Ronnie’, just minutes later at 3.53pm, as he entered Huddersfield Train Station.
It is believed he may have links to the Bridlington, Whitby and Scarborough areas, although officers have said they are ‘not ruling out that he may have travelled elsewhere’.
Ronald’s family shared that he had recently undergone a triple heart bypass and had medication for his heart and for epilepsy, but that he had not taken any of his medicine with him when he went missing.
His grandchildren said that this is the first time he has not come home.
At the time of his disappearance, Ronald was wearing a blue and black coat with grey trousers.
He is described as 4’11 ins with grey hair around the sides, bald on top, and uses a walking stick.
In an update, a spokesperson for GMP said: “Since Ronald was reported missing, officers have been working closely with his loved ones to understand where he might have travelled to.
“It is believed he may have links to Bridlington, Whitby and Scarborough, although officers are not ruling out that he may have travelled elsewhere.
“Whilst officers are continuing to review CCTV from locations of significance, they are also working with colleagues from other forces to ensure everyone is on the lookout for Ronald so we can help him return to his family safe and well.”
Anyone with information about Ronald’s whereabouts should call 101 quoting 1013 of 16/09/2023.
H&M Home is opening in Manchester city centre this weekend
The first 100 members in the queue will receive a free H&M Home gift
At long last, H&M Home is opening up a store selling its interiors range in the city centre.
Shoppers were delighted when the Swedish fashion retailer, full name Hennes & Mauritz, decided to branch out and launch a homeware range in 2009, following in the footsteps of the likes of Zara.
At first, it teased us with a small concession in Selfridges at the Trafford Centre back in 2015, where shoppers and home decor enthusiasts could find affordable pieces that looked as good as those sitting on their Pinterest boards.
But then it closed for a long while and for many shoppers, it left a void that couldn’t be filled, with its home stuff only being available online. No more could you wander into the shop, pick up cute pieces and admire stylish bedding sets to decorate your home.
Recently, it opened up a H&M Home shop within the Trafford Centre which sells everything from cushions to lamps, candles, vases, bed linen, towels, dried flowers and a whole selection of homeware accessories you didn’t even know you needed.
And now a H&M Home shop is coming to the city centre too.
The retailer recently closed the majority of its Market Street store while it undergoes a refurbishment, leaving just a small section open for fans to continue to shop at the high street favourite.
This week, H&M announced that the small section will now become its H&M Home showroom so decor lovers can ‘scratch that interior design itch’ once again.
In a newsletter distributed to its members, H&M said: “You may have seen that our Market Street store is temporarily closed whilst we work on our new look and feel.
“But from 23rd September, you can head down to our H&M HOME showroom in the same location where you can scratch that interior design itch by shopping our latest home decor collection.
“The first 100 members in the queue will receive a free H&M HOME gift and an exclusive offer for the full launch in winter 2023.
“There’s even some exciting new AR technology to help you visualise your living space and enhance your shopping experience just that little bit more.
“If you’re looking for the rest of our assortment, you can find your nearest store in the Trafford Centre and we’re always open at hm.com.”
The H&M Home showroom located on Market Street will open this Saturday, September 23rd. The shop will fully launch in winter this year.