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Boots owners blame funding cut for falling pharmacy sales

Walgreens Boots Alliance: Decrease primarily due to negative impact of reduction in UK funding
Walgreens Boots Alliance: Decrease primarily due to negative impact of reduction in UK funding

Boots UK's parent company has blamed the funding cuts for a 4% decrease in pharmacy sales.

Walgreens Boots Alliance said its retail pharmacy international division – which includes Boots UK – has seen sales in pharmacies drop by 3.7% in the three months up to February 28, compared with the same period last year.

The health and beauty giant said this was "primarily due to the negative impact of a reduction in pharmacy funding in the UK", in its latest financial report published this afternoon (April 5).

It also used the funding drop to partly explain why the division's "adjusted gross profit" had decreased by 4% "on a constant currency basis".

Retail sales growth

However, the business pointed out the international division had seen a 0.6% increase in "comparable retail sales", which it said "reflects growth in Boots in the UK, Republic of Ireland and Thailand".

Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Stefano Pessina said the latest results are “in line with our expectations, despite some challenging conditions faced in a number of markets”.

Earlier this year, Boots blamed the category M clawback for a 0.5% decrease in Walgreens Boots Alliance's international pharmacy sales.

Have you seen your sales drop this year?

Ms B Wilson, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Lots of customers will remember BOOTS from when they were small and this mantra would be passed down through families do not let this go - please.

Quality and authenticity- as well as a decent employer -I remember these and would like it to remain.   

All I can say is please, please Boots do not lose what you had because you are trying to crawl back costs keep up the the Jones!!  BOOTS were The Jones to keep up with back in the day!  If BOOTS became like any other pharmacy ot shop for that matter it would be really sad, really sad.

Please just keep thinking quality do not compromise on this in retaining and recruiting staff or selling of goods as well as knowledge it was what BOOTS was known for.  Please do not fritter it away - there is enough going wrong in this age of stupidity.




Andy Krestoff, Locum pharmacist

too late by far

Meera Sharma, Community pharmacist

What a surprise - walk into any Boots store today and its like a ghost-town, minimal staff, over-worked and stressed pharmacists. Doesn't exactly inspire good customer service. Might be time for a Boots CPD cycle with help from the GPhC - what will you do differently??

James Mac, Community pharmacist

In public it's the government's fault, in private, their dwindling staff. They just say these things to distract from negative press about their tax situation.

Sharon Stone, Communications

The public are finally waking up to the fact that Boots is not the company it was , its now purely avaricious with scant regard for anything else .

O J, Community pharmacist

I have been to boots to get my prescriptions dispensed 3 times. On all 3 occasions I had to wait 15 min to get served, 25 min waiting time and when I call back its another 15 minutes.

Lovely service :)

ajaz akhtar, Student

Why go back three times ? Support your local independent 

Dave Downham, Manager

You were probably the local independent which is why they went back to Boots.

Lucas Perez, Student

Haha... have the NHS cuts rattled you ? 

O J, Community pharmacist

They had 3 strikes! Don't go there anymore.

Mark Boland, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Three strikes and you're out

John Smith, Locum pharmacist

Has anyone ever tried to get served at a Boots OTC counter? They rarely have dedicated staff at the tills, instead relying on the pharmacist or dispenser to run up and down in between completing scripts. Ths drop in sales is a direct response of customers voting with their feet at the appalling pharmacy staff cuts and resultant abysmal customer service.


ajaz akhtar, Student

Totally agree, pathetic service , boots are living from past reputation 

Janet NQ, Community pharmacist

Are they sure blaming funding cuts? Usually they blame pharmacist for their loses...!

ajaz akhtar, Student

Boots fluconazole £9.29 x 1

Chemist direct £2.49

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

I think I've solved the mystery of who Kevin Pieterson Is Right, Mesit Ozil (both deliberately misspelt) and DH's mole a.k.a. Deep Throat is...

ajaz akhtar, Student


have u seen the price of some of their otc meds...ppl are buying more from supermarket and online...,.fluconaxole £9.99 online £1

O J, Community pharmacist

Mussy fudge! More and more people are getting aware of the price by shopping around. Thanx to this digital age. Like my comment if u agree ;)!

ajaz akhtar, Student

korta...yep that's the case 

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Is this about a drop in retail sales or NHS income? I don't understand how the funding cuts can affect retail sales? Maybe they can but this hasn't been explained in the piece above. After all, the customers drive retail sales and they are not affected directly by the funding cuts. If it is about a reduction in NHS income then surprise, surprise - what did they expect?! They're not called 'cuts' for nothing.


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