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First look: What's in Boots' 'store of the future'?

The new Boots branch in Covent Garden, London, opened to the public today
The new Boots branch in Covent Garden, London, opened to the public today

C+D previewed Boots’ “store of the future” yesterday to see how the multiple is experimenting with its offering.

The branch in Covent Garden, London opens to the public today (June 27) and contains express pick-up lanes, prescription collection lockers, extra consultation spaces and a pharmacy waiting area.

The flagship store also offers two of the multiple’s newest services: urinary tract infection (UTI) test and treat – which went live in 300 Boots branches this week – and a new skin scanning service, currently available in 50.

Customers can make use of an in-store digital health check machine to test their weight, height, body mass index, body fat and blood pressure.

The Covent Garden branch is the first to trial an orthotics machine (pictured below with director of pharmacy items and digital healthcare business lead Stephen Watkins). After eight days, and at a cost of £89, customers will receive a custom-made insole, to help resolve foot, leg, hip and back problems.

The pharmacy is one of five Boots branches currently trialling secure prescription lockers. These have 162 ‘slots’, although certain medicines are excluded from the service – including controlled drugs and those requiring temperature control.

Patients need a unique reference code and their date of birth to open the locker, and pharmacists can flag to the patient if they want to talk about their prescription.

The “store of the future” is one of 600 Boots branches now offering express pick-up lanes, where patients are promised they can pick up their prescriptions in two minutes or less.

Boots hopes to create a “warmer and more inviting space” with its pharmacy waiting area.

Boots’ transformed branches will combine health, beauty and a new focus on wellness, including self-care options, a “rehydration” water bottle filling station and sustainable products.

Boots hopes to scale this new pharmacy model out to other branches – the next flagship branch will open in Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre.

What do you make of the new Boots store?

Dean Hawkins, Secondary Care Nurse

it looks like a heck of a lot of empty floorspace and wasted space-wheres the margins and profit in that- central london rents are astronomic and its no shelves full of fayre to buy

Asif Siddiqui, Community pharmacist

Its all good to start off, but lets see in 6 months time. I hope its works and wait to see how it will bring about a positive change in pharmacy.

Joan Richardson, Locum pharmacist

When six patients arive together at the express pick-up lane, how many will be able to collect their medication in 2 minutes or less?  Calculation for the registration exam!

Alison Russell, Pharmaceutical Adviser

As long as they do away with the carousel in stores, they are the biggest waste of money EVER!!! Looking good tho, nice clean and fresh

They may be the difference between disabled customers accessing services and not, those carousels. My local Waitrose has them too: a bit of design with the end user in mind, move at the pace of the slowest man and all that.

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