Monday, June 20, 2022

News: Boots walks away from Rotherham town centre

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Boots is the latest national retailer to dispense with Rotherham town centre.

The last pharmaceuticals, prescription glasses and meal deals were sold on Saturday as the Rotherham store closed after decades in the town centre.

Other recent closures in the town include national names, Wilko, Jack Fulton and Shoezone.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is accelerating its Boots Transformation Plan in the UK following COVID-19. During lockdown, pharmacies remained open but its revenue-driving beauty and fragrance counters were closed. A decline in footfall lead to retail sales being cut by 48% for Boots UK and 72% for Boots Opticians.

Bosses at Boots said in 2020 that with an "uncertain economic outlook, it is anticipated that the high street will take considerable time to recover." It announced the start of a consultation process for a significant restructuring across its head office, store teams and opticians teams, resulting in a reduction of its headcount of more than 4,000.

Bosses also recognised that COVID-19 accelerated the shift by consumers towards digital channels and online shopping adding that the acceleration of the Transformation Plan "will see continued investment into online and digital services as a key driver of growth for the business." Indeed, Boots.com sales are up 60% versus pre-Covid levels.

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Overall since COVID, Boots has delivered a strong performance. For the second quarter ended 28 February 2022, Boots UK comparable retail sales were up 22%

After the closure of the Effingham Street store, Boots still operates large stores out of town at Parkgate and Cortonwood.

The former Boots store was sold in 2020, before it was due to go to auction with a guide price of £1.1m. It includes some 25,985 sq ft of floorspace over three floors.

Auction documents show that Boots started a 35 year lease in 1987 (the same year Parkgate Retail World opened), paying £173,000 per annum in 2020.

The empty property is now being marketed by agents, Brassington Rowan who say that: "The property is available on a new lease at a rent of £125,000 per annum exclusive. Alternatively, offers are invited for the freehold interest."

It is advertised as an "outstanding retail / leisure / development opportunity."

Images: Brassington Rowan

4 comments:

Anonymous,  June 20, 2022 at 8:58 AM  

Not really surprised by this one and can't say that I'm all that sorry to see Boots go. The customer service in Boots has been terrible for a long time, and the store itself is a shadow of what it once was.

It will be interesting to see what happens to this site, after all it is a fairly prominent site in the town centre that doesn't really lend itself to a flats conversion that easily.

Anonymous,  June 20, 2022 at 6:35 PM  

I think the company Boots has gone downhill since it got taken over. Staff are fed up.

Anonymous,  June 21, 2022 at 9:16 PM  

The business model of Boots is changing from selling and providing healthcare products to also providing healthcare itself we are used to seeing eye, ear care and vaccinations it will not be long before they are offering a minor daycare surgery walk-in service.

Anonymous,  June 22, 2022 at 6:29 AM  

Seeing as Boots the company are for sale, this is just one of several less profitable stores that will sadly close

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