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Boots position statement on rent payments

30 June 2020
Feature Healthcare

We are continuing discussions with some of our larger commercial landlords on options for rental and service charge payments in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on our business. We stayed open throughout the pandemic to provide a pharmacy for the patients who needed us, but retail footfall across our estate significantly reduced, our premium beauty and fragrance counters have been closed throughout and trading has been severely impacted. The rapid change in retailing caused by the COVID-19 crisis means that we must now put our relationship with our landlords on a more modern and equitable footing, and we have invited them all to engage in conversation with us.

Whilst we have reached revised agreements with many landlords, where discussions are ongoing, we have paused some payments as we look to agree a fair and equitable solution. We are seeking to reach a sustainable cost base for our leased real estate throughout the UK and will consider a number of options including closing and moving a store to a new location, which properly reflects the changed trading environment.

During lockdown we temporarily closed around 100 Boots stores and nearly all our Boots Opticians and Hearingcare stores. We are starting to re open these again as restrictions lift but it is early days and we are not returning to a pre-COVID 19 way of operating yet. We will continue to review our rental position, in line with trading conditions and outlook. 

We wish to work together with our landlords to reach a fair agreement that supports both Boots and the UK High street as we start to emerge from this crisis. 

 

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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer. Its mission is to be the first choice for pharmacy, health and beauty - caring for people, customers and communities everywhere.

With over 53,000 team members and 2,247 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores, Boots serves its customer and patients’ wellbeing for life.

Boots is the UK’s number one beauty destination and largest pharmacy chain providing dispensing and essential healthcare services, and it offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of product offering including its innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle, Sleek MakeUP and YourGoodSkin. For over 170 years, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on boots-uk.com.

 

*Figures as of 31 May 2022