• Around a fifth of assistant store manager roles to go 
  • Retailer moves towards “multi-skilled advisor model” in stores
  • Plans to raise minimum wage for new staff to £7.70 from April

Boots has revealed plans to cut up to 350 assistant store manager roles as part of an ongoing “simplification” process.

The retailer said today it is starting formal consultations with affected staff in its “larger” UK stores.

“This involves a proposed reduction of between 300 and 350 management roles in order to further consolidate store leadership,” Boots said in a statement.

The move is the latest by the retailer as it aims to cut costs and adapt to the shift towards omnichannel. Last June it revealed plans to cut 700 back office roles.

On today’s changes, Boots said it wants to move towards a new “multi-skilled advisor model” in its shops. This will also involve training up to 200 extra staff to offer advice on its beauty brand, Boots No7.

The retailer, part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, currently has 2,000 assistant store managers across its 2,510 UK stores.

Boots president Simon Roberts told Retail Week: “We wanted to see if the role could be done more efficiently.” However, he said the assistant manager role will “continue to be vitally important”.

The retailer said it expects the cuts to come through “natural attrition, redeployment, retraining and redundancy”.

The health and beauty retailer said it will raise the minimum hourly pay rate for all new joiners from £7.20 to £7.70 from April. New staff in the capital will receive a London weighting on top of that.

Other staff are also getting a pay rise from April, which will be above £7.70.

Boots is among a number of retailers who have moved ahead of George Osborne’s so-called living wage, including IKEA, Oliver Bonas, Aldi and Lidl. 

Meanwhile, Boots also revealed it has agreed a deal for call centre management firm, Teleperformance, to run its customer support centre.

About 400 staff will transfer to Teleperformance under TUPE. The employees will remain based at Boot’s Nottingham head office.