Lloyds pharmacy in Sainsburys

Source: The Grocer

Lloyds had begun shutting some sites within Sainsbury’s network

Sainsbury’s is “finalising” plans to replace spaces vacated by Lloyds pharmacies, after confirming that all Lloyds Pharmacy sites within its network will close permanently by the end of the day.

Lloyds had begun closing some sites following its announcement in January that it would close all its Sainsbury’s sites during 2023, following a “strategic review of its operations in response to changing market conditions”. However, neither business had to date confirmed the exact timing of the closures.

A Sainsbury’s spokesman told The Grocer the supermarket had been notified by Lloyds after the pharmacy chain had agreed the timeframe with the NHS, confirming a story first reported by pharmacy trade title Chemist & Druggist.

“At the start of this year Lloyds Pharmacy announced its decision to withdraw pharmacy services from Sainsbury’s stores,” a Sainsbury’s spokesman said. “Since then, we have been working with them to ensure customers are clear on how they can access an alternative pharmacy provision to meet their needs.”

Sources close to the business have previously said that Sainsbury’s was taken by surprise by Lloyds’ initial announcement in January.

In some stores where counters have already closed, staff have been replacing vacated spaces with additional shelving featuring products like alcohol and bottled water. 

In March, The Grocer revealed that Sainsbury’s had begun contacting suppliers for ideas about how the spaces could be repurposed long term. In return for a “six-figure investment” sum, Sainsbury’s invited some suppliers to offer viable suggestions as to how the spaces – which included in-store counters and some standalone units – could be utilised.

How the spaces will be used will vary store by store, the Sainsbury’s spokesman said.

“Customers may notice some temporary adjustments in aisles where pharmacy counters are being removed and we would like to thank everyone for bearing with us while we make these changes,” he added.

Read more: What Lloyds Pharmacy’s woes says about the state of British chemists