Boots the Chemists is expected to make 100 staff redundant after an overhaul of its in-house property and planning arm.

The division, which employs 360 people, is being trimmed after a decision to buy in more services from outside. The 100 job losses will be made through redundancies, natural wastage and early retirement. Fifty staff will be transferred, 40% of them going to local commercial designers.

Boots said the reorganisation will lead to savings of £5m but will cost £4m in redundancy payments.

Boots made the announcement this week when executives said they intended to outsource the store-planning part of the business, which handles fit-outs. Two firms of architects, Lewis & Hickey and Styles & Wood, have been shortlisted to do the job.

The move will involve the transfer of some employees from Boots’ store-planning group to these firms.

Peter Baguley, head of property and planning at Boots, said: “Having the right structure for property services in the retail environment is becoming more and more crucial.”