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Boots set to learn what works from customer reaction to ‘store of the future’, amid retail sales fall

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Boots today opened its new ‘store of the future’ in London’s Covent Garden.

The new 24,524 sq ft store features beauty and wellness halls featuring more than 300 brands, including Fenty Beauty and Urban Decay A range of experiences and expert advice, from yoga classes to hair consultations and makeovers, are on offer during launch week. 

The store features Instagram points and two beauty studios. A water bottle refilling point is available, while shoppers can pick up snacks at an Innocent bar. No single use plastic bags will be available in the store – instead shoppers will be offered unbleached paper bags, as part of Boots’ ambition of cutting plastic use by more than 1,000 tonnes this year. 

The pharmacy area features express pick-up lanes, more advice and consultation spaces,

Sebastian James, managing director, Boots UK and ROI, said: “Our new Covent Garden store starts a journey of reinventing Boots for the future. The store is full of exciting beauty brands, ideas for living well and services to help you get better, all with the great care that Boots colleagues give. We will learn what people love and want from this shop and this will help us shape a blueprint for our whole 2,500 store estate.”

The new-look store comes as the latest financial results from parent company Walgreen Boots Alliance show falling retail sales at Boots, a Leading retailer in IRUK Top500 research. In the third quarter of 2019, to May 31, Boots UK sales fell by 1% with like-for-like retail sales down by 2.6% and LFL pharmacy sales up by 0.8%. 

Across Walgreen Boots Alliance, sales rose by 0.7% to $34.6bn, with operating income down by 24.7% at $1.2bn. Boots UK is part of the retail pharmacy international division, where third quarter sales of $2.8bn were down by 7.3% on the same time last year, following adverse currency impacts of 5.7%. Once currency fluctuations were discounted, sales were down by 1.7%, and 1% down at Boots UK. Gross profits were 8.5% down on last time, or 1.6% down on a constant currency basis. This, said the company, was down to lower pharmacy margin and retail sales in Boots UK.”

Image courtesy of Boots

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