Boots has been at the heart of healthcare in the UK for 171 years, supporting the nation through many difficult times, some as life-changing as the pandemic we are facing today. Each time, it has been Boots duty to step forward and do all it can to care for the nation in its time of need, and now is no exception.
Since the beginning of lockdown, Boots has been classified as an essential retailer. We moved quickly to prioritise the safety of our customers and colleagues, to keep the majority of our stores open, and to ensure everyone had access to the prescriptions, essential medicines, advice and support they needed.
Research conducted by Kantar into how safe people feel visiting stores in the UK named Boots the best performing of 30 grocery and high street retailers. 79% of those interviewed strongly agreed they felt safe during their store trip to Boots, and 77% felt the store was well-organised to protect the safety of customers and colleagues*.
Based on the Health and Safety Executive’s five step risk assessment approach, and working closely with our Safety Primary Authority, we have made ongoing efforts to reduce the risks associated with COVID-19 for our colleagues, customers and other visitors, in line with government guidance.
Boots has introduced a number of key risk controls across its stores, warehouses and offices, which are summarised below:
- Clear and concise customer information visible at entrances and throughout the customer journey
- Floor markings, one-way routes, and signage to help maintain a 2-metre distance
- Hand sanitiser available for colleagues and customers to use
- Protective screens for use at all counters, tills, and self-checkouts
- Colleagues are provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), where appropriate
- Increased cleaning regimes have been adopted, including frequent disinfection of high touch point areas
- Guidance on managing inbound deliveries and stock return policies
- Temporary removal of beauty testers and face-to-face consultations
- Encouraging contactless payments and collections in stores
- Limiting the number of customers in any given location
Managing our colleagues, customers, and other visitors
- All non-essential travel is reduced
- Clear and concise communication, including video conferencing to keep teams up to date
- Monitoring systems in place to ensure effective COVID-19 controls are appropriately implemented
- Reporting and monitoring of any COVID-19 cases
- HR policies in place including guidance on vulnerable people
- Colleagues are equipped to work from home, where possible and appropriate
Risk evaluation and results
Based on our evaluation of our current controls, the risks associated with COVID-19 have been reduced to as low as reasonably practicable within Boots.
For more information about the steps we’ve taken to help keep our colleagues, customers and local communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.
*Sample size: 1200 nationally representative. Data collection period was 27th April – 17th May 2020.