The US owner of UK health and beauty retailer Boots the Chemist could close over 200 stores in the next two years, according to a Sky News report.
The news website noted that New York-listed Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) had said in April that it was undertaking a review of the Boots estate "focusing on low-performing stores and opportunities for consolidation".
A decision on the closures has yet to be made, however Sky News quoted sources as saying a "significant number [of stores] were likely to be shut".
The 200 stores, if closed, would represent around 10% of Boots' UK estate, with the affected members of staff to be redeployed to other areas of the company where possible, the report added.
Boots, one of Britain’s largest retailer by store numbers employing around 56,000 people, has been part of Nasdaq-listed WBA since 2012, and was owned by private equity firm, KKR prior to that having been taken private in 2007.
Over the past year, a plethora of UK retailers have closed stores reflecting a challenging environment on the high street, with footfall declining amid tough competition from online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN).