Below are my observations on how Boots compares with U.S. drugstore chains. From my photos, you’ll see some similarities but also very intriguing differences. And by publishing this post, I can convert my entire vacation into a business expense. (Shhh, don’t tell the IRS.)
Bonus: I’ve included a photo of my amazing visit to (full-size) Stonehenge. Drug Channels goes to 11!
MY HOLIDAY SNAPS
I visited a few Boots locations in London. The photos below were taken in the Boots at 193 Oxford Street. Special thanks to my lovely assistant, Audrey. Click a photo to enlarge it.
Walgreen+Alliance Boots: Questions about Global Pharmacy, Boots UK pharmacies depend less on prescription revenues than do Walgreens pharmacies. Non-drug sales are 49% at Boots vs. 25% at Walgreens. When you enter a Boots store, this disparity is immediately apparent. In many Boots locations, the entire first floor resembles the beauty section of a high-end American department store. Boots carries brands such as Chanel and Clinique—not your usual drugstore assortment.
THE CORNER OF HAPPY AND ACTUALLY HEALTHY
The most startling difference is the absence of cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and other tobacco products. I asked a chemist why Boots doesn’t sell tobacco. He looked at me as if I was bonkers for having suggested such a loony notion.
I’ve always been amazed that U.S. drugstore chains want to be taken seriously as “health care destinations,” yet gladly sell tobacco and fill their aisles with junk food and candy. Walgreens has even launched its own discount private label beer. (See Walgreens Rx for Growth: Beer!) Sounds like the corner of Happy and Unhealthy.
STONEHENGE: WHERE THE DEMONS DWELL
Our tour guide, Nigel Tufnel, solemnly informed us: “In ancient times, hundreds of years before the dawn of history, an ancient race of people... the Druids. No one knows who they were or what they were doing...”
See the video below for more Stonehenge secrets. (Click here if you can’t see the video.)