High street pharmacy chain Boots has said it expects to cut more than 4,000 jobs as part of action to mitigate the "significant impact" of Covid-19.

The move will affect around 7% of the company's workforce and will particularly affect staff in its Nottingham support office.

It will also affect some deputy and assistant manager, beauty adviser and customer adviser roles across its stores.

The restructuring will also result in the closure of 48 Boots Opticians stores.

It comes after retail sales tumbled by 48% over the past three months in the face of the pandemic, despite Boots keeping many stores open to customers.

READ MORE: John Lewis to permanently close eight stores with 1,300 jobs at risk

Meanwhile, its opticians business saw sales dive by 72% compared to the same quarter last year as people stayed at home.

Boots said that the cuts represent an "acceleration" of its transformation plans to improve profitably across the business.

The retailer said it has significantly invested in Boots.com during the lockdown as more customers moved online, with the company reporting a 78% increase in online sales over the quarter.

Sebastian James, managing director of Boots UK, said: "The proposals announced today are decisive actions to accelerate our transformation plan, allow Boots to continue its vital role as part of the UK health system, and ensure profitable long-term growth.

"I am so very grateful to all our colleagues for their dedication during the last few challenging months.

"They have stepped forward to support their communities, our customers and the NHS during this time, and I am extremely proud to be serving alongside them."

"In doing this, we are building a stronger and more modern Boots for our customers, patients and colleagues.

"We recognise that today's proposals will be very difficult for the remarkable people who make up the heart of our business, and we will do everything in our power to provide the fullest support during this time."

The announcement came hours after fellow retailer John Lewis announced plans to shut eight stores, in a move which put around 1,300 jobs at risk.

Lucy Powell, shadow minister for business and consumers, said: "This is deeply worrying news for staff at John Lewis and Boots and the travel hubs and town centres these stores are in.

"These announcements underline the dangers facing our high street, as many businesses struggle to survive through the Covid-19 crisis and the necessary public health measures which limit capacity and demand."

Asda has joined forces with Uber Eats to launch a rapid delivery service for customers which it said can provide groceries in "as little as 30 minutes".

The firms have joined for a trial starting this week from Asda's stores south of the border.

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It said the retailer will offer over 300 Asda own-brand products through the Uber Eats app, including items such as fresh fruit and vegetables, ready meals and beer.

Rival Deliveroo has launched trials with grocery chains including Aldi and Morrisons since the pandemic as more customers order deliveries to their doors.

If the Uber Eats trial is successful, the partnership may be extended to more Asda stores later this year.

Office firm Workspace Group said workers are "slowly" returning to its demand as customer demand continues to steadily improve.

Shares in the company nudged higher after the FTSE-250 firm reported 765 inquiries in June, increasing from 272 in April and 480 in May.

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However, this remains significantly lower than its monthly average of 1,060 inquiries in the first quarter of last year.

It told investors that it collected around 75% of rent for the quarter to June 30.

It said that activity in the quarter was "significantly impacted" by the lockdown but said business centre customers "welcomed" an offer of a 50% reduction in rents.

Shares were up 0.2% at 628.5p.

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