Peter Williams: Boots closures show what must change for stores to thrive

Boots Liverpool

The news that Boots is reviewing its UK store portfolio has been met with a large degree of shock and surprise. Given what is happening to virtually every retailer with a mature store estate, why should this be the case?

The company has a store estate in the UK of over 2,500 and is said to be reviewing the future of more than 200 stores. According to the Local Data Company, there are 242 towns with two or more Boots outlets among 734 towns and locations where they are represented.

In my local high street in Putney, south London (a weak retail centre), there are three – all within 50 metres of one another. While one of the stores is an optician, it is confusing for the customer to know what is available in each store.

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