Boots is to cut up to 350 jobs in the UK as the pharmacy chain looks to reduce costs in its larger stores.
This is the second round of job cuts at Boots in the last seven months, after an announcement in June last year that the company would cut 700 jobs in offices around the UK. In the latest round of redundancies, the company plans to cut between 300 and 350 assistant store managers at its biggest stores.
Boots is now part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, one of the biggest retailers in the world, after the merger of Walgreens and Alliance Boots in 2014.
The latest reduction in the workforce will be achieved through a “combination of natural attrition, redeployment, retraining and redundancy”, Boots said. The cuts are part of a drive to simplify the management structure within stores.
Boots also announced that 400 employees working on its customer helplines will move to Teleperformance, which runs customer help centres for companies. The employees will continue to be based at Boots’ head offices in Nottingham and retain their pay and benefits.
The retailer also plans to invest in new training academies so staff can offer beauty advice to customers and will increase the base pay for its workforce. The starting pay for customer assistants outside London will rise from £7.20 an hour to £7.70, while the rate in London will rise from £8.77 to £9.07.
Simon Roberts, the president of Boots, said: “Everything we do at Boots is about helping people feel good. So many of our colleagues deliver amazing care for our patients, customers and communities everyday and we are actively working to make sure our people are rewarded for the great work they continue to do.
“I believe our plans will enable us to build an even better Boots and drive future growth.”
This article was written by Graham Ruddick, for theguardian.com on Monday 1st February 2016 13.33 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010