More than 200 Boots stores across the UK could be closed by its American owner in a bid to cut costs.
It means 8 per cent of its UK stores are at risk of closure, with the affected stores to be in areas where there is currently more than one Boots store.
The announcement is a concern for customers in Preston, where there are currently 7 stores in the city itself, as well as stores in Bamber Bridge and Leyland.
It has not been revealed which stores are under threat, but the company said it will continue to review the performance of individual stores over the next 12 to 18 months.
The stores would then be closed in stages throughout 2021.
A spokesman for Boots said: "We are reviewing under-performing stores and we will continue to consider opportunities for consolidation.
"We are being realistic about the future and that we will need to be agile to adapt to the changing landscape."
The chain has 2,485 stores across the UK which employ more than 56,000 staff.
Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw said it is calling on parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance to enter into talks with the union.
"This is clearly very worrying news for the staff in all Boots stores particularly given the company’s earlier denials", said Usdaw national officer Daniel Adams.
"Usdaw will be doing all it can to support members during this difficult time. It is only fair that staff are treated with dignity and respect, which is best achieved by giving them a voice through their trade union.
"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."
The review of duplicate stores follows Boots' announcement in February that 350 jobs were at risk in its Nottingham head office, amid plans to reduce costs by 20 per cent.
Boots is one of a number of well-known High Street brands that have struggled in recent years.
Last year, Poundworld, Toys R Us and Maplin all went bust. Other household names, including Homebase, Mothercare, Carpetright and New Look, were forced into restructuring deals with their landlords, leading to the closure of hundreds of stores.
Boots stores at risk in Preston
- Fishergate, Preston
- Blackpool Road, Preston
- Preston Capitol Centre Retail Park, Preston
- Pedders Lane, Preston
- Deepdale Retail Park, Preston
- Ribble Village Local Centre, Miller Road, Preston