A total of 48 Boots Opticians practices will permanently close as part of the company’s response to Covid-19, which includes 4,000 job losses across the wider business.

The majority of Boots Opticians stores closed during lockdown alongside more than 100 larger retail stores, which the company said had severely impacted retail sales.

Retail sales decreased by 72% for Boots Opticians in the third quarter compared to last year and Boots anticipates that the high street will take a considerable time to recover.

Sebastian James, managing director of Boots UK, said: ‘We recognise that today’s proposals will be very difficult for the remarkable people who make up the heart of our business and we will do everything in our power to provide the fullest support during this time.’

The closures and job losses are part of Boots UK’s transformation plan in response to the pandemic, which includes ‘a significant restructuring’ across its head office, store and opticians teams.

When asked by Optician about where the closures would take place and how the practices had been identified, Boots Opticians said that the company is entering a consultation period with colleagues and so it cannot be specific about their locations or any further details at this point.