Boots abandons plans to conquer Sweden

British pharmacy chain Boots is abandoning plans to expand its operations in Sweden and is looking at ways to wind-up its head office in Stockholm, writes newspaper Dagens Nyheter. Two of its Swedish franchise pharmacies have already closed, DN writes.

The remaining six Boots outlets will continue to operate in Sweden.

"We are looking over the possibilities of speaking to all staff at our head office and move the support to another country, but the pharmacies that we have will remain,"  says Per Geber, managing director for Boots.

Boots, which is hugely popular in its native UK, moved to Sweden following the introduction three years ago of government legislation to  sell-off part of the state-owned monopoly pharmacy chain to outside interests, and it also made it possible for private companies to open new stores. 

Last week, Swedish Radio News reported that many of those pharmacies in rural areas and smaller communities will be closing next year. This follows a new report from the Dental and Pharmaceutical Benefits Agency concluding that the drugstores in the countryside are not profitable. The agency says it will be difficult for the government to keep its goal of maintaining diversity in the pharmacy marketplace.

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