Healthy high streets

Boots at the heart of the high street

Boots has always been a champion of the important role high streets play at the heart of communities across the UK. Partnership and community are key to our values. We believe in the importance of strong local high streets as a key driver for the future of retail in the UK, as well as the regeneration of local communities. With around 54,000 colleagues and around 2,500 stores, we are present in almost every community - indeed over 600 of our stores have been in the same high street location for more than 30 years!

But what does this mean in reality to our customers and colleagues?

In addition to providing pharmacy advice and support, award winning health and beauty products and services, local employment and training and valuable work experience, we are also regularly involved in many community based initiatives with other healthcare, commercial, charity and government partners.

We distributed our community guide to our store leaders to help them understand how they can really make a difference at a local level. The guide ‘Boots at the heart of the high street’ outlines how store teams can help play an active role in strengthening their attractiveness and vitality.

Here are just two of the ways we are making a difference in communities across the UK, every day:

I go to the local Town Team meetings (Town Teams were set up in all of the Portas Pilot Towns – a number of government funded schemes to implement the recommendations of a report into how to revive the high street by retail expert Mary Portas) and I’m the voice of the high street for the other large retailers. Having seen the great work that our Town Team have already delivered, I really encouraged my team to get out and see the new shops and services that have sprung up. I just want to get involved – it has been a chance to bring new ideas and a fresh perspective. I’m trying to bring the community into decision-making too – bring in a sense of pride and anything is possible.

Jane Pike, Boots UK store colleague

The Healthy Living Pharmacy is a pharmacy that’s at the heart of the community, where anyone can go for any reason. We have people who are trained to give advice, but also can signpost people to other services available in the local community. Most importantly, the Champions that we have on the shop floor are people who can build a rapport with people, and who can empathise. The secret is to be proactive and to be aware of what’s going on around you. There’s a lot of pressure on doctors, and on young people, and we want to relieve some of that. We’ve also contacted local schools, youth clubs and surgeries to find out what’s needed and how we can help. We want our customers to know they can always count on us to champion their needs in and around their local community.

Jane Harvey, Healthy Living Pharmacy Leader

Jane won an award for the Most Innovative Individual, from the Healthy Living Pharmacy.