May 28, 2019

Boots stores at risk amid cost-cutting drive

Boots, the pharmacy chain owned by US giant Walgreens Boots Alliance, is reported to be reviewing more than 200 of its UK stores as part of a plan to cut costs and reinvigorate profit growth. The declining competitiveness of its stores has for a while been masked by the huge procurement cost savings generated by Boots' initial merger with Alliance UniChem and then its combination with Illinois-based Walgreens, which was fully completed in 2014, analysts say. More than 200 of its 2,485 UK stores were being reviewed for closure, Sky News reported. In addition to formidable competition from Superdrug, owned by Hong Kong based AS Watson, discounters and supermarkets have cut prices on personal goods like shampoo to lure customers into their own stores. His plans include improving the customer experience in larger stores and offering more brands; last month, Boots began selling the Fenty Beauty range created by pop star Rihanna and plans to open a dedicated beauty store in London's Covent Garden.

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