Boots turns to tech as it prepares beauty counter reopenings

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Boots reopening Covid-19 lockdown Annie Murphy
Boots is relying on digital innovation to launch its latest No. 7 product
// Boots preparing to reopen its No7 counter and branded beauty lines to the public
// It said it is relying on digital innovation to launch its latest No. 7 product

Boots has said it is preparing to reopen its No7 counter and branded beauty lines to the public following a lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The health and beauty retailer laid out its plans to keep staff and shoppers safe when these sections reopen.

It said it was relying on digital innovation to launch its latest No. 7 product and reopen its in-store beauty counters next month.


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Earlier this week, the government said non-essential retailers in England can open their doors from June 15.

While most of Boots’ stores remained open during lockdown, it had closed all of its beauty counters.

Boots, which launched a new GP and online pharmacy consultation service last month, will also be relying on its digital platform to launch its latest No. 7 product in its first worldwide product launch.

It will offer shoppers in-store and online video consultations with No. 7 advisers, which last 15-20 minutes and focus on skincare and cosmetic advice.

The retailer’s new retinol night cream, which has a wait-list of over 100,000 shoppers ahead of the launch next week, will be launched in the UK this week, and shoppers buying the product via the Boots app will have their loyalty points doubled for their purchase.

Boots’ online sales have nearly doubled over the course of the pandemic, and searches for skincare are up 140 per cent year-on-year.

There will also be social distancing wardens who will patrol stores at all times.

Boots will have a queuing system to limit the number of shoppers in-store at once and increase its use of floor markings and PPE for staff.

“We’ve learnt a great deal over the last eight weeks and the additional measures we are putting in place will allow us to adapt to a radically different retail world,” Boots UK chief operating officer Tracey Clements said.

“Many of the developments are based on feedback from our colleagues who are looking forward to welcoming back more customers.

“Hygiene, social distancing and protection for customers and colleagues continues to be our focus.

“For those who may face the high street with trepidation, Boots is exploring geo-targeted ads that will let people know when their local store is less busy, and customers can also still choose to shop on Boots.com.

“Many people have recently moved to online shopping and Boots responded to demand by doubling capacity and finding new ways to facilitate orders. At times product ranges online have been optimised, but more lines continue to be brought back every day.”

Walgreens Boots Alliance chief commercial officer Annie Murphy said: “We’ve approached this launch really differently and I am so proud of the teams who have remained determined, under such unique and unprecedented conditions to bring, yet another, game-changer to our customers.”

“Working together with our colleagues at Boots UK and Walgreens we have focused on improving our website capacity and introduced a number of brand new virtual services to ensure our customers can still get the care and advice they expect from our amazing No. 7 beauty advisers.”

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