Healthcare provider puts mobility retail arm up for sale

Thu, 19 Oct 2017

A healthcare provider will close many of its retail locations across the UK while bundling up its independent living business for a sale, the firm’s management confirmed this week.

Simplyhealth, which provides a range of healthcare services via retail locations throughout the country, is closing 10 retail stores under its Unlimited Company brand while keeping five Care and Mobility branches open in a bid to sell that arm of the business.

Employees at the mobility equipment stores, located in Wellington, Kenilworth, Birmingham, Willenhall and Sutton Coldfield, were notified earlier this week about the sale.

A total of 85 workers are predicted to be affected by the move, though the company’s management say that they “are exploring the options available to them” beyond a sale.

Romana Abin, Simplyhealth’s chief executive, said that selling up was “not the outcome we wanted”.

Abin explained that the decision to close The Unlimited Company stores and put up Care and Mobility for sale was very difficult to make as it affected not only “thousands of customers but our own people will be affected” too.

He added: “As someone with a disability myself I know there is a need for better support networks for people. Unfortunately it has become clear that physical shops are not a viable way forward for Simplyhealth and from a business viewpoint we have to ensure we look at better ways of providing people with the support they need.”

The ten stores due to close are located in Andover, Bristol, Bicester, Blackburn, Burnham, Droitwich, Leeds, Morton Park in Darlington, Norwich and Radstock in Somerset.

Raman Sankaran, chief commercial officer at Simplyhealth, took charge of daily operations at The Unlimited Company in July 2017 and was appointed to lead a planned review of the business.

He added that going forward his company would “continue to focus on how best to meet [customers]’ needs, both on our own and by working with partners”.

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