LONDON — Boots has abandoned plans to roll out 65 Pure Beauty stores after six trial ones across the UK failed to make enough money. Steve Russell, chief executive of Boots, said the company had decided that Pure Beauty was not economically attractive enough to be expanded any further.
This story first appeared in the November 15, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The first Pure Beauty — dedicated to premium and designer brands in color, skin care, hair care, fragrance, vitamins and beauty accessories — opened in Covent Garden in September of last year. Although Russell insisted that a nationwide rollout will not happen, he said there were no plans to close the existing stores at the present time.
The U-turn is part of a series of changes brought in by new finance director, Howard Dodd, which also includes the reinstatement of household goods and CDs at the end of this year after an 18 month withdrawal from all Boots stores.
According to John McGrath, chairman of Boots, reform was natural under new leadership. “The old methods weren’t transparent enough,” he said in the Financial Times. “This is generational change.”
In The Independent, Russell said the company will now adopt a “back to basics” strategy that will see Boots place less emphasis on beauty and well-being services and more on getting its core stores right.
Strategies for Boots’ Wellbeing services operation, which offers treatments including Botox injections and chiropody, will not be released until January, but it has been reported that the project has lost the company $25.43 million in the half year. All figures are converted from the British pound at current exchange rates.
Boots also plans to make several job cuts in a bid to save $158.92 million in the next three years.