Boots cuts 220 photo labs putting 400 jobs at risk

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Boots is moving towards automated photo kiosks (Source: Getty)

Boots has announced it is closing 220 of its photo labs across the UK, including five in London, as weak demand for photo film services finally takes its toll.

The closure of the in-store labs will put 400 jobs at risk, although a Boots spokesperson said the company would try to offer retraining and opportunities for other roles.

Staff were told of the job cuts today, with the closures expected to be completed by around the end of August.

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Five of the closures will come in London, with 100 photo labs remaining in the UK as the company moves its focus increasingly to unmanned printing kiosks.

The pharmacist has more than 3,000 kiosks in around 1,000 of its 2,500 stores across the UK, which have replaced photo labs as demand for physical film has plummeted in the face of digital photography.

However, the company claims three-quarters of the UK population will still be within a 30-minute drive of a lab, and the company will still carry out film processing by post.

Read more: Boots' UK boss Simon Roberts set to quit in July

The kiosks are also able to create personalised photo gifts, for which Boots says strong demand remains.

The high street stalwart was bought in 2014 by US pharmacy giant Walgreens. Since then it has repeatedly cut jobs in an effort to cut costs and simplify the business, including 300 managerial roles in February of last year and 700 head office jobs in 2015.

Former UK boss Simon Roberts left the company in July to join Sainsbury’s supermarket.

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