SHOPLIFTERS have been blamed for stock shortages in a town centre pharmacy.

After residents took to social media to complain about empty shelves in Boots in Wellington High Street, the store manager responded to give an explanation for the shortages.

Posting in a Facebook group for Wellington residents, one person said: "There is nothing in here, how is it still open?" while another commented "It looked like it was closing down months ago."

Responding to the comments the store manager blamed a spate of thefts for the shortages. They said: "Unfortunately some of the gaps you’ll find in the shop is due to theft, but it can also be due to manufacturing supply issues.

Empty shelf space was visible on Tuesday morning
Empty shelf space was visible on Tuesday morning (Tindle )

"Otherwise the gaps on the shelves are maintained and filled daily if the stock is available to do so. If there’s anything you’d like that the shop doesn’t have, there’s always the option that we can order it in for you for next day delivery which we always mention as another service."

The manager also addressed speculation over whether the Wellington store would be among the 300 Boots locations which have been earmarked for closure. They said: "The store has had no communication that’s it’s one of stores that the business are closing."

The store has not been named by Boots as one of its locations scheduled for closure.

It comes after Wellington's neighbourhood police sergeant revealed the town had seen a significant year-on-year increase in thefts.

Addressing the town council on Monday, Sgt Jon O'Connor said 16 thefts were reported in the month of September, compared to just six in September 2022.