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Boots to expand pharmacy services despite ‘declining market’

Boots has plans to expand its pharmacy services, despite its parent company highlighting the tough market conditions in the UK in its most recent financial report.

The multiple is piloting “new private independent prescribing clinics”, and told C+D earlier this month (January 17) that it is “looking to build upon the success” of its cystitis test and treat service.

The expansion of its pharmacy services will “improve the customer journey” and “broaden access to healthcare”, Boots said.

The planned expansion comes in spite of the fact that the latest financial results from Boots' parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance – covering September-November 2019 and announced on January 8 – revealed a 3.6% drop in adjusted gross profit for its international retail division, which includes Boots UK.

At the time, the company stated that the drop – which was on a constant currency basis – reflected “lower retail sales and margin in Boots UK” and that Boots was “holding share in a declining market”.

The company told C+D it is “working to improve” the pharmacy area of its branches by developing express pick up lanes – currently in place in select branches

Digitally speaking, it has “plans to grow” the Boots app, so that patients can access its free online NHS repeat prescription service and book appointments.

“Patients are increasingly looking for new and easy ways to manage their medicines,” Boots added.

Boots said it is “learning from” technology from pilot schemes, such as the VOYCE interpretation service and a GP video consultation service launched in partnership with Swedish firm LIVI.

“Patients are increasingly looking for new and easy ways to manage their medicines,” Boots added.

Last June, the health and beauty giant unveiled its plan to transform the business both in-store and digitally.

In the same month, Boots announced it would close 200 loss-making stores over the following 18 months. So far, 28 branches have been confirmed as closed.

What do you make of Boots' plans?

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