Boots Seeks to Speed Up Home Delivery With Deliveroo Deal

·3 min read

LONDON — Deliveroo will deliver all sorts of nourishment, from ice cream to face cream, across the U.K. following a new tie-up with the health and beauty retailer Boots.

The companies have inked an exclusive partnership that will launch at 14 pilot stores and see more than 400 health and beauty products delivered on demand by Deliveroo, the takeaway food delivery site that listed on the London Stock Exchange earlier this year.

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The partners are promising delivery of Boots’ beauty products, baby essentials, medicines for minor ailments such as colds and hay fever to customers’ doors in “as little as 20 minutes.” Beauty brands available for delivery include Boots No7, The Inkey List and CeraVe.

The 14 pilot stores include Edinburgh Princes Street, London Piccadilly and Nottingham Victoria Centre.

Paula Bobbett, director of boots.com, said the company has shortlisted more than 400 products for the launch “to help our customers get the things they need, when they need them. It will be super handy for times when you need something urgently, but can’t leave the house, like if you’re feeling unwell or are looking after your kids. Our online business continues to grow, and this partnership offers our customers way to access our products quickly and easily.”

Until now, Boots had only offered next-day click and collect and home delivery for online orders, but it’s clearly seen the threat from Amazon Prime, which offers same-day delivery. According to Kantar, 53.5 percent of all British households subscribe to Amazon Prime, and have come to expect same-day service.

Although lockdown has ended here, some people are still forced to self-isolate for long periods if they’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19, or if they’re unvaccinated and have returned to the U.K. from a trip abroad.

Boots said it saw a continued rise in online sales during successive lockdowns. Orders on boots.com were up 85 percent between March 1, 2020 and March 1, 2021 compared to the same period the previous year, and continue on a “strong trajectory,” according to the company.

Although Boots stores were allowed to remain open during lockdown because they contain pharmacies and sell medicine, the chain was forced to lay off staff during the pandemic last year.

As reported earlier this year, Boots’ parent Walgreens Boots Alliance sold the majority of its Alliance Healthcare businesses to its long-standing partner, AmerisourceBergen, for $6.5 billion. Post-sale, the parent company’s aim has been to put a greater focus on the retail and pharmacy side of the business, which includes Boots.

Boots has been undergoing a transformation, and said it has been planning for “continued investment into online and digital services as a key driver of growth for the business.”

Carlo Mocci, chief business officer for the U.K. and Ireland at Deliveroo, said the partnership “will mean more choice and selection for our consumers, delivered in as little as 20 minutes, and will create more work for riders across the U.K.”

Mocci added that the partnership “builds on a period of strong growth and consumer engagement for Deliveroo in 2021, as it continues to rapidly expand its on-demand grocery and convenience offering with leading retailers.”

The partnership begins today, and could expand to more Boots units in the future if the pilot stores are successful, Boots said.