Walgreens Boots Alliance co-chief operating officer Alex Gourlay has revealed Boots will bring Walgreens tech innovations such as an Uber-style telemedicine service to the UK in the next few years.
Gourlay outlined in a keynote speech at Retail Week Live how Boots and Walgreens are building on each other’s strengths following their merger two years ago.
He said: “We are bringing the best technology we have in Walgreens to Boots. We are bringing that customer engagement capability to Boots in the next few years ahead.
“It is really exciting as we line up this new model here in the UK and drive the healthcare model here not just for Boots but also the NHS.”
The technological innovations include a telemedicine service that makes doctors available in an “Uber-type process for episodic care”.
Another innovation includes the Walgreens app, which is the third-most-downloaded retail app in the US after Amazon’s and Ebay’s, and includes a ‘quick refill’ function whereby customers can take a picture of their empty medicine bottles in order to get Walgreens to prepare a new bottle.
Boots brands in the US
In return, Boots is also helping Walgreens bolster its beauty operation.
Gourlay said: “The drugstore in America is not seen as a provider of beauty care in the way it is across Europe.
“We are bringing the Boots brands including Soap and Glory and No. 7 to America.
“We are also making sure we tell the brand stories in the hybrid model, which is more below-the-line [marketing] than above the line because we do not have a lot of money like an FMCG company.”
Walgreens is also selling the own-brand products outside of its own stores, which differs from the UK where the products are only available from Boots.