You are here: Home Newsroom Features Colleagues and “cobots” work side-by-side at Boots UK Burton Warehouse

Colleagues and “cobots” work side-by-side at Boots UK Burton Warehouse

28 November 2019
Feature Brand

Colleagues at Boots UK’s Burton Warehouse are getting a helping hand this Christmas from 135 new “cobots”, which will help deliver 3 million items to customers over the Black Friday season[1].

The collaborative robots work alongside colleagues by carrying orders between picking stations, cutting down the distance the warehouse teams have to walk and improving productivity.

Boots is gearing up to its biggest ever online Black Friday. It will see six times the average number of orders per week during the period and colleagues in 300 of its stores are picking orders to anticipate the increase in demand on

Warehouse colleagues welcomed the cobots by giving them names such as Hal, Botty McBot Face, and Seb, after Boots UK’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Seb James.

Alan Penhale, Interim Director of Supply Chain, Boots UK, said: “Our new cobot colleagues are ready to help with Black Friday, where we expect to pick around 3 million items over the 2 week period. Our warehouse team absolutely love the cobots – who have all been given names. They make the warehouse a calmer, more productive place and are also 2-3 times faster than manually pushing trolleys long distances, saving our teams from having to walk quite as far.”


[1] Thursday 21 November – Monday 2 December 2019


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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, 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

*Figures accurate as of 30 November 2023