Parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance said on Friday that it has started a “store optimisation process”, first mooted in May, which is expected to take around 18 months.
The identity of the branches to close has still to be revealed and the firm does not expect a “significant effect” on overall staffing numbers.
Sebastian James, managing director of Boots in the United Kingdom and Ireland, said: “WBA has now approved an outline plan to consolidate around 200, principally local pharmacy, stores where we have a large number within close proximity.
“We believe this is the right thing to do as it means that we can invest more in staffing those stores while not reducing our 90% coverage within a 10-minute drive of a Boots.
The four South Tyneside premises recently awarded four-star food hygiene ratings
Jet2 unveils new winter sun flights from Newcastle Airport - where you can go and how to book
South Shields brick company experiences record-breaking year
Where is the cheapest petrol in South Tyneside? Eight stations to fill up at across the borough on August 8
South Shields manager and Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips thanks sponsors for backing club
“We do not anticipate a significant effect from this activity to colleagues as we will redeploy the overwhelming majority to neighbouring stores.
“At the same time, we continue to open new stores where we believe there are communities that would benefit from a new Boots - for example the new Covent Garden flagship, creating 130 new jobs, which opened yesterday.”
Yet Daniel Adams, national officer with shop workers union Usdaw, called for Boots to enter into talks about “the worrying news”.
He added: “We urge the company to engage with Usdaw as the trade union for Boots retail staff to ensure that all avenues to minimise job losses are explored during this critical time.”