EY with Boots 

Performance Improvement in the Private Sector

Boots is the UK’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer. High street retail has been facing huge changes, driven by falling customer footfall, a shift to online shopping, and increasing expectations around seamless omni-channel experiences. These trends have accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boots asked EY to design and execute an end-to-end simplification programme to identify, size and deliver improvement initiatives across its head office and stores.

The objectives were to, define and build the capabilities to be a digital-led retailer, and support the development of integrated health and beauty propositions to leverage Boots’ unique brand value. Our approach anchored around identifying, understanding and removing the complexity across the business. We used an end-to-end process and capability model, which was co-developed with the client team, to structure and accelerate the work. We combined hypothesis-led analysis with deep subject matter expertise from the client, data and external insight to identify, size and prioritise improvement initiatives. Then we mobilised execution teams around these.

We also leveraged EY’s specialist Data and Analytics capability to develop a modern algorithm to predict shopper demand using mobile phone data to monitor footfall outside stores. This was used as a key input into a new staff optimisation model to match customer demand with in-store staffing. A joint client and EY delivery team, and bringing together a diverse, cross-capability team with thought leadership in the retail sector, was also crucial.

We implemented cross-functional improvements that resulted in, simplified ways of working, embedded true end-to-end thinking, and drove a cultural shift that puts customers and colleagues at the heart.

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