Boots shuns EDLP sales strategy

Boots chief executive Richard Baker has ruled out every day low prices (EDLP) as the weapon in the health and beauty price war with grocers.

'It is not going to be EDLP, that is not our game,' said Baker. 'Price is what you pay and value is what you get, and we will offer the best-quality entry-level prices.'

He said the extra 4p or 5p on a 50p item, such as new Boots value range Basics, reflected the quality inside the bottle.

Ignoring the value end of the market meant Boots had been 'walking away' from sales, he said. He may also consider 'super-premium' branded ranges and has already signed skincare guru Daniele Ryman to create a 'star brand'.

Baker has identified young mothers and the elderly as key shoppers and intends to better serve their needs. The insight is one of the first indications of where Baker will position the 150-year-old retailer. He has also reinstated pharmacy as a key business plank.

Baker's priority has been a store improvement programme to allow shoppers to 'get in, get it, get out' of shops. It has meant new tills, more staff and modern trading hours.

The store estate has been simplified into three formats - chemist, convenience and destination - as opposed to the 11 employed by the previous management.

Beauty, food and health are key product development areas. Boots posts prelims on Thursday.