Retail group Boots warned of up to 2,250 job losses over the next three years after revealing plans for a major overhaul of its warehouse operation.
The company said the creation of a new auto-mated warehouse in Nottingham would allow it to replace 17 regional sites with smaller lorry-docking facilities.
The job losses will not affect Birmingham as the city and the West Midlands is supplied from Nottingham direct.
Boots also said it was investing money in improving 700 smaller stores, including through enhancements to its pharmacy service.
The changes to the supply chain and investment in community pharmacies will cost Boots £250 million, which it will fund through proceeds set aside from the £1.9 billion sale last year of Boots Healthcare International, its Nurofen-toStrepsils business.
Chief executive Richard Baker described the moves as a "major step forward in our plans to build a better Boots".
Boots said the supply chain revamp involved the creation of a modern auto-mated £70 million warehouse in Nottingham.
The company believed the three-year period of implementation meant it would be able to minimise the number of redundancies through normal staff turnover. It will also seek to redeploy staff to reduce the jobs impact.
Boots said the investment in stores - covering around half of its estate - would focus on sites serving local communities or smaller high streets.
Improvements to pharmacies, including the provision of new facilities, would form a key part of the investment, it added.
Mr Baker said: "Our small stores have been under-invested and are important to the communities they serve. It is appropriate that we invest in these stores in order to provide the pharmacy-led healthcare role that both we and the Government envisage."
There will also be investment to improve the shopping environment for customers and working conditions for staff, the company added.
Usdaw national officer Joanne McGuinness said: "Usdaw will now be entering consultations with Boots management to look at the business case behind this proposal to centralise their retail supply chain which could have an impact on the long term job security of our members." ..SUPL: