Founded by John Boots, the pharmacy, beauty and health retailer has been a mainstay of the British high street for 170 years. From its first family-run shop in Nottingham, Boots has expanded to around 2,500 outlets across the UK.
Boots’ pharmacy-led outlets also provide optician and hearing care services and digital photo printing. It sells clothing, food and drink, alongside its many beauty and health products.
Boots merged with American drugstore giant Walgreens in December 2014, leading to an empire that spans over 14,000 company-owned stores across 11 countries. Walgreens Boots Alliance in the UK has been reinvesting funds in technology to up its digital capabilities to create a “seamless omnichannel offer”.
Developing a single customer view and continuing to innovate in personalisation are a big focus, all the while combatting sluggish sales as rivals such as Superdrug and Holland & Barrett have carved into its market share.
Significant steps taken by Boots include taking the Advantage Card loyalty scheme online, trialling express prescription pick-ups, overhauling its largest beauty halls and stocking trendy, cult beauty brands and dedicated wellness products.