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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 UK is the largest pharmacy-led health and beauty chain in the UK and its purpose is to champion everyone’s right to feel good. With 2,336* stores and a team of around 52,000* colleagues, of which approximately 6,600* are registered pharmacists, the Boots brand has been at the heart of local communities across the UK since 1849. Boots UK is committed to providing exceptional customer and patient care and being the first choice for pharmacy, beauty, healthcare and wellness, alongside offering its innovative portfolio of product brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle, Sleek MakeUP and YourGoodSkin.

Boots UK is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) – a global leader in retail pharmacy, impacting millions of lives every day through dispensing medicines, and providing accessible, high-quality care. More company information is available at boots-uk.com.

*As of Aug. 31, 2020