Coronavirus (COVID-19): five ways Boots is responding to the pandemic

Laura Jacobson
Head of Insight - RA UK
@RetailAnalysis

Date : 02 April 2020

With increased pressure on pharmacies and an exceptional increase in demand for health, hygiene and personal care products, Boots continues to evolve its approach to best serve customers and communities.  

Donating 200,000 essential products

Building on its existing relationship with the Hygiene Bank, Boots will donate essential toiletries to hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis, with the aim of supporting frontline NHS staff. FareShare will provide distribution support and send items to local charities. In total 200,000 items including toothpaste, shampoo and shower gel will be donated.   

Temporarily closing non-core operations

Boots Opticians and Hearingcare stores have temporarily closed, apart from a handful of sites remaining open to help with emergency eyecare needs.

Beauty and fragrance counters have also closed, with colleagues working in these areas of store not required to go into work.

Customer and colleague safety measures

Boots has distributed Perspex screens to its 2,500 pharmacy counters across its estate, as well as introducing protective visors for its store colleagues after testing them in its Victoria Centre, Nottingham store.

The drugstore is encouraging customers to follow social distancing advice in-store, aided by floor stickers and colleague communication.

In addition, stores are closing for an hour during the day to enable deep cleaning.

Increasing online prescription capacity

Boots is offering free delivery for prescriptions for the over 70s and vulnerable patients to encourage them to stay at home. For its free online repeat prescriptions service (launched in May 2019), Boots is increasing capacity to be able to offer the service to more customers. 

Drive through testing stations

Boots began trialing drive-through testing stations for COVID-19 last week. These will initially be by invitation only, for NHS staff.

Looking for more on Coronavirus?

Keep track of the latest global retail news and insight relating to COVID-19 here.