Alliance Boots’ Alphega Pharmacy chain is targeting UK and overseas growth as it aims to become a “household name”.

The pharmaceutical giant’s chain of independent pharmacies, which trade under the Alphega fascia, opened its 1,000th store this week, five years after its launch.

Its UK stores are located within villages and communities unlike sister pharmacy and retailer Boots’ estate on high streets and in shopping centres.

In total, Alphega Pharmacy has over 6,000 stores internationally across the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Czech Republic, Germany and The Netherlands.

Alphega Europe managing director Caitlin Sorrell: “I want it [Alphega] to become a household name. There’s a lot of work to be done and there are a lot more pharmacies out there.

“There is plenty of room for expansion in Europe. Meanwhile, we have 1,000 members in Russia but that is just the tip of the iceberg. We are always interested in new opportunities and our concept has the chance to be successful in lots of different markets, wherever there are independent stores.”

In addition, there are opportunities for Alphega to work with AmerisourceBergen, the North American pharmaceutical distributor for Alliance Boots and its partner US drugstore Walgreens, once the mooted merger is completed next year.

Sorrell was unable to disclose what proportion of sales Alphega makes up from Alliance Boots’ total.

The chief executive Alliance Boots’ pharmaceutical wholesale division Ornella Barra said: “Working in partnership with independent pharmacists is a key part of our strategy and we remain focused on further developing our range of innovative services on offer through Alphega Pharmacy.”