Jobs across the area are under threat after bosses at a leading pharmacy chain announced they are considering selling off the business.
The Co-operative Group - which has a wide range of interests, including retail, banking and funeral services - has announced a major shake-up of the business amid rumours it is facing record losses of £2bn.
The company, which started off in Lancashire, has 14 pharmacies in Wyre and Fylde which all face the prospect of being sold as part of the review of the business. Bosses announced plans this week to sell off the company’s farms and said they are “exploring options” for its pharmacies, which employ 6,500 people at around 750 stores nationwide.
The Co-op has pharmacies in Garstang, Blackpool, Poulton, Kirkham, and Freckleton which all face being sold off.
A spokesman for the Co-operative Group said: “As part of the wider strategic review of all of its businesses, the Co-operative Group has decided that its farms are non-core and has started a process that is expected to lead to a sale of the business. In addition, it is exploring options for the future of the pharmacy business - this could include the sale in whole or part of the business.”
Reports suggest the Co-op, Britain’s biggest mutually owned company, is facing financial troubles stemming largely from its banking operation.
The Co-operative Group recently launched a public consultation that it claims will “shape its future,” with results unveiled in May.