New Boots concept store opens as 200 sites to close

Boots has opened its new concept store in London's Covent Garden following the news that parent company, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc is to close over 200 UK stores within the next 18 months.

The new store, on the large site of a former M&S, has a beauty hall carrying over 300 brands featuring initiatives such as automated dispensers to deliver repeat prescriptions. There’s also a YouTube beauty studio for video makeovers, a beauty mask bar, and an Instagram zone.

Customers can refill their water bottles at a Rehydration Station, and will be deterred from snacking on those high sugar snacks and energy drinks, as they are no longer included in the Meal Deal offer.

UK Managing Director, Seb James commented, “Our new Covent Garden store starts a journey of reinventing Boots for the future. The store is full of exciting beauty brands, ideas for living well and services to help you get better. We will learn what people love and want from this shop, and this will help us shape a blueprint for our whole 2,500-store estate.”

James said that elements of the Covent Garden upgrade will be replicated across the store estate as part of a future-proofing process for the chain and that the stores that have been given upgraded beauty halls already have shown encouraging results so far with premium beauty, in particular, getting a boost.

Boots is one of Britain’s largest retailer by store numbers, with 2,500 sites and employing around 56,000 people. However, US parent company is attempting to cut £790bn in costs worldwide, partly to offer customers lower prices and better services.