Boots stores in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire could face closure, following a warning from the retailer's parent company today.

Walgreens Boots Alliance admitted yesterday it will start taking "decisive steps" in an effort to save costs, including reviewing the 2,485 Boots stores which employ around 56,000 staff in the UK.

The group revealed it is looking at poor performing shops as well "opportunities for consolidation".

However, it gave little indication of where the axe might fall after tough trading conditions, also faced by many retailers on the high street.

Parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance reported a 2.3 per cent drop in like-for-like UK retail sales in its second quarter to February 28, while comparable pharmacy sales dropped 1.5 per cent.

Vice chairman and billionaire CEO Stefano Pessina blamed a drop in drug prices and less income from prescriptions for the fall in revenue, saying it was the "most difficult quarter we have had since the formation of Walgreens Boots Alliance"

He said: “I want to acknowledge upfront that this has been a very disappointing quarter for us.“While we are not the only company that has been impacted by the marked change in the environment, that’s not an excuse.

He admitted the group did not take action swiftly enough to offset challenging conditions and outlined plans to turn around it fortunes.

These included ramping up global cost cutting targets by around another 500 million US dollars (£383 million) to more than 1.5 billion US dollars (£1.1 billion) by 2022.

He added: "We are going to be more aggressive in our response to these rapidly shifting trends.

"We are focusing on our operational strengths and addressing weaknesses."

Stores in Cirencester, Fairford, Cricklade, Malmesbury, Stroud, Chalford, Minchinhampton, Dursley and Yate face the threat of closure.

It follows the group's announcement in February that 350 jobs are at risk in its Nottingham head office to trim HR staff costs by 20 per cent.

Walgreens Boots Alliance was formed in 2014 after Walgreens bought the 55 percent stake in UK and Switzerland-based Alliance Boots that it did not already own.