Boots Opticians has given its offer a new look, scrapping its core buy-one-get-one-free promotion to focus on an accessible premium eyecare strategy.
In what the opticians is calling the “most fundamental change to its proposition in 22 years”, Boots is emphasising its healthcare expertise by providing a higher level of customer service and ensuring it educates its customers on eyecare.
Boots Opticians managing director Ben Fletcher said: “It is the most comprehensive eyecare you will get as standard. It’s our bold intent to change the market decisively.”
Boots Opticians will offer anti-reflection coating and UV protection on the front and back of all its glasses at no extra cost. This will also apply to NHS customers.
Before, customers would have had to pay around £70 for these services in addition to the spectacles.
And instead of the buy-one-get-one-free offer which Boots pioneered, the retailer will now offer customers buy-one-get-one-half-price on multiple pairs in a single transaction.
Fletcher added: “We found that the buy-one-get-one-free offer was not always good value. The basic spectacles were not good enough and so we want to put the benefits into the second pair too. It’s an investment that we’re happy to make.”
Boots has worked with suppliers and invested in the business to ensure glasses prices are not lifted by the changes. The prices are more transparent so people are not put off the extra costs associated with protecting their eyes.
Boots aims to educate customers to understand the importance of looking after their eyes and how regular eye tests can find signs of other illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer and the effects of smoking. Boots aims to then use this knowledge to refer customers to its pharmacy services through a more joined-up approach.
The proposition has been rolled out to all Boots Opticians this week following a nine-month trial and it will be supported by a TV advertising campaign which airs on Wednesday.
Boots, which with a 16.5% market share is the second-largest opticians behind Specsavers, is also refreshing its 600 opticians to its new ‘Inspire’ format, which has moved free-standing spectacles displays to fixed wall shelves. Consultation desks are fitted with cameras so people can see how they look in their glasses. Boots has also increased the range of glasses by 50%, adding new designer brands and exclusive ranges such as Jigsaw.
“We believe that we have the capacity to grow ahead of the market,” Fletcher added.
In its full year to March 31, 2014 Boots Opticians revenue jumped 4.2% to £349m, comprising 6% of its UK health and beauty business.