A market report from Verdict Research points to the combination of an ageing population, changing consumer trends, and the movement of health services in to the community.
But the report, published in Retail Week magazine, says that larger chains are set to benefit most, due to economies of scale and the demands of the new pharmacy contract.
Meanwhile, Alliance Boots, created through the £7 billion merger of Boots and Alliance UniChem, is set to return efficiency savings of around £100 million.
In its first set of results since the merger, the company reported a 2.7 per cent increase in first half trading profits, to £267 million, although it said the underlying increase was 5.1 per cent. Sales of the combined group, which owns 3,000 pharmacies, rose by 2.9 per cent to just over £7 billion.