Major supermarket to make big change to services TODAY – and shoppers will be fuming | The Sun

A MAJOR supermarket is to make a huge change to services today and it's left shoppers fuming.

Asda is pulling the shutters down on seven chemists today.

It comes after the grocer announced a proposal to close seven of its 254 in-store pharmacies in January.

Asda said it would look to close these pharmacies because of low customer usage.

The supermarket consulted on the move and confirmed the closures at the end of April but didn't say when the pharmacies would shut for good.

The closures will take place in Asda supermarkets in the following locations today:


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  • Southampton
  • Seaham
  • Feltham
  • Blackburn
  • Adel
  • West Bradford
  • Weston-Super-Mar

It comes after shoppers spotted a note at the door of the Blackburn pharmacy window in recent weeks explaining the closures.

The closure of the seven Asda pharmacies is expected to affect 48 hourly-paid colleagues and 14 pharmacists.

In January, Asda said it would do everything it could to redeploy affected staff in other local branches.

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Ken Towle, Asda's retail chief, said: "We will do all we can to support affected colleagues."

"We recognise this will be a difficult time for them," he added.

The move comes after Lloyds Pharmacy announced that it would close 237 of its pharmacies in Sainsbury’s supermarkets by June 13.

Community pharmacies are essential for providing services to local neighbourhoods but hundreds have been shut in recent years.

Pharmacies across the UK have struggled for years due to cuts in government funding and the soaring cost of medicine.

Chemists are also being asked to pick up extra slack from the NHS by providing more services, such as vaccinations.

The pharmacy industry has lost £1.6billion in the last ten years as the health service's pharmacy contract struggles to keep pace with inflation.

As a result, pharmacies are facing big cuts to their real-term funding, which is leading to the closures.

Pharmacy chain Boots also closed a string of its own stores in the spring.

But it recently announced that it will be shutting a total of 300 shops in the UK and 150 in the US.

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Retailers in general have also been battling rising costs as inflation sends prices soaring and less demand among cash-strapped punters.

More companies in England and Wales went bankrupt in March than at any point over the last three years, according to the Insolvency Service.

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