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Shoppers at Sainsbury’s in Ashford say LloydsPharmacy closure is a loss

Shoppers have spoken out after the closure of a town pharmacy.

LloydsPharmacy in Sainsbury’s, Ashford, is one of 14 kiosks in Kent to shut today, after bosses decided to withdraw from all 237 supermarkets across the country.

The Ashford outlet, in Simone Weil Avenue, had already shut up shop this morning when KentOnline visited, with empty shelves lining the walls, a bare counter and signs declaring the closure.

Sainsbury’s visitors said the pharmacy would be missed, as it was convenient to visit while getting shopping.

Cynthia Manyati is a carer and says now she will have to make an extra trip to get her clients’ prescriptions.

“My clients like Sainsbury’s so I cannot just go to Tesco instead,” she said.

“I used to come in, put in the prescription then get the shopping while I was waiting for it to be ready. It was handy as I cannot get the prescriptions delivered.

LloydsPharmacy has closed inside Sainsbury's in Ashford
LloydsPharmacy has closed inside Sainsbury's in Ashford

“Now I will have to make another trip into town.”

Meanwhile, June Kirkpatrick only realised the outlet was closing today, while perusing the aisles.

“I do use it. I used to get bits and bobs at Lloyds like cough mixtures and headache tablets. I will miss it,” she said.

Shopper Michael Humphrey didn’t use the pharmacy regularly but thinks the loss will be “big inconvenience for many people.”

He said: “I stopped using them for occasional bits and pieces because whenever I went in there, the pharmacy for some reason never seemed to have what I wanted. Maybe it is just bad luck.”

Cynthia Manyati, who is a carer, says it will be inconvenient now Lloyds has shut inside Sainsbury’s
Cynthia Manyati, who is a carer, says it will be inconvenient now Lloyds has shut inside Sainsbury’s

While some felt the pharmacy was a loss, Angela Birt, who shops at Sainsbury’s once a week, said it was pricey compared to other outlets.

“It is quite expensive at the pharmacy, there are lots of places in town where you can get the basics like aspirin and paracetamol for a lot cheaper.

“I think a lot of people will be annoyed about it closing if they use it regularly,” she said.

In Kent, Sainsbury’s stores in Canterbury, Dartford, Sevenoaks and Whitstable are among those which have seen their pharmacies close.

The closure of Lloyds Pharmacies was meant to be gradually carried out this year, but in January the date was brought forward.

June Kirkpatrick says the pharmacy closing is a loss
June Kirkpatrick says the pharmacy closing is a loss

It comes after their parent company was bought by Aurelius, a multinational private equity firm, who decided to shut the stores.

Changing market conditions have been blamed for the closures.

A spokesperson for LloydsPharmacy said the company: “has been committed to helping patients easily find a suitable alternative provision.

“It has kept patients informed of when services from their specific pharmacy will end so that they can transfer their nominations as needed.”

“Further information on how to do this is available at the LloydsPharmacy website, via this link. Customers can also go online to the NHS website here or use the NHS App to find out more details.”

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