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Boots UK: Sustainable Development and Business Strategies

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Introduction: Boots UK History and Business Analysis

Boots UK is the leading international beauty and health retailer in the UK and its former name was Boots the Chemists. This organization was established in 1849 in Nottingham as a herbal medicine shop. In 1920, the company was sold to the American United Drug Company in North America but again in 1933 due to the worst economic condition of North America the company was again sold to the British. Boots UK is a part of “Walgreens Boots Alliance's retail pharmacy international division" and they focus on improving their business process through adopting “UN sustainable developments goals 9" to modify and restructure their operational process. A goal of sustainable development is to have the best innovation and infrastructure that promote sustainable industrialization and innovation of foster. The main concern of this organization is to accelerate the revenue stream by resolving issues and making a brand reputation in the existing market based on an explanation of the environmental context.

Gradually it starts operating internationally in Norway, Indonesia, Italy, Netherlands, Thailand, and the Republic of Ireland with nearly 2,200 stores running from the local pharmacy community to large beauty and health destination stores. At present, Boots is a component of Alliance Boots a multinational pharmacy that is a leading beauty and health corporate in headquarters. The primary product of Boots is toiletries, beauty products, and pharmacy and health products. This company is a leading retailer of popular cosmetic brands and well-being and optician services with a series of eye care treatments in the UK. The primary focus of the organization is, helping the customers to feel and look better in a way of responsibility by adopting various strategies of sustainable development. 

Effect on Boots UK under the environmental context

PESTLE Analysis





The tax rate is around 19% + Incentives for SMEs

Corruption Perceptions Index is 78

The transformative and unstable political process can affect Boots' business process.

Transformation management styles can occur and productivity can affect due to this.



GDP rate 7.4% (Ons.gov.uk, 2022)

Exchange rate 80.1

The unemployment rate is 3.6%

A great GDP rate and a low taxation system can provide development in Boots' share price.



The Childbirth rate is 11.322% (Ons.gov.uk, 2022).

Boots consider beauty products for any gender to provide solutions to people as per their age.

A large population can provide effective support in business sales and revenue.

Advertisement and promotional activities can get effective results due to having a large population as market development can continue with ease through this. 



The technology advancement rate is very high

The automation rate is 5.68% in contract jobs advertisement and 6.31% in the process category.

Automation can deliver effective support in the innovation activity of Boots to continue with SDG 9 approach in the business process. 



Privacy law efficient

Consumer protection law, equality act 2010, and employment act 2008 can provide advantages in maintaining systematic processes in Boots' business (Gov. UK, 2022).

Health and Safety act 2008 can provide effective support to employees of Boots (Gov. UK, 2022).



Air pollution delivers issues in people’s health.

Noise pollution captures 2nd position on the pollution list (Gov. UK, 2022).

Antimicrobial-resistant microbes are produced in the environment due to contamination and pollution (Gov. UK, 2022).

These all issues developed innovation in business products and services of Boots to continue with SDG 9 by including 100% organic packaging products and 100% plastic-free products in the business process. 


Table 1: PESTLE Analysis

Threats faced by Boots UK 

The basic threat for Boots is its absence in a global market that makes a huge difference in creating awareness in the marketing sector. The competitors of Boots UK are John Lewis, Superdrug, Argos, and Wilko these are the major competitors that have a huge rivalry among them. This forces Boots UK to lower the price and increases financial tension in the organization. The pandemic situation has a huge loss in business as noticed that the loss incurred. In the year 2021 "Last August, was an improvement on the £245 million loss over the previous 12 months, according to accounts for Boots UK filed at Companies House". The revenue of Boots fell to 10.8% in 2020, which was disrupted by Covid-19, but gradually the revenue grew in the coming year. The offer to effective investment with Walgreens said that it “adequately reflects the high potential value of Boots and No7 Beauty Company”.

Declination of sales rate in Boots

Figure 1: Declination of sales rate in Boots

The above figure shows the decline in the rates of sales of Boots UK in the year 2016-2020. Business threat concerning the current market and industry of beauty and healthcare products is needed. It can be stated that there is a huge market competition that is responsible for increasing threats regarding the sustainability of Boots' business as well as reducing sales rates. Boots has a position as one of the leading companies among health and beauty retailers. Boots UK originated in the United Kingdom and expand its business worldwide through the presence of Boots stores in different countries namely Thailand, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, and Lithuania. According to the statistical report of Boots' market condition and sales rate, it has been identified that in 2002 their sales rate was $10 billion, which has declined, by approximately $2.5 million since 2016 (Statista.com, 2022). Moreover, the sales rate in 2018 was 12,281 and the 2019 sales rate was 11,462 that is representing a continuous decline in the sales rate based on an annual report. Apart from that, it can be stated that continuous declination of sales rate leads to a reduction of economic capability that can be recognized as a major threat to the sustainability of this business.

Opportunities of Boots UK

Boots has a huge variety of products with a huge range of supplies the consumers. The varsity consists of products for babies and clothing, medicine, and beauty products. These have captured a huge range of consumers, which includes every age group from babies to old age people. 

Beauty product includes some of the market-capturing products, which include skin care products, which can be used for marketing various other products and expanding the business to foreign lands. The political stability and the neighbouring countries have a huge encouragement for the expansion in both European and Asian nations.

Boots shoppers' emphasis on embracing sustainable habits in their operational process through utilising reuse and recycling schemes is a noticeable opportunity for exploring business with implemented business strategies concerning environmental sustainability. They analyzed customers' information based on market research viewed customers' reviews based on product and delivery processes and realized the importance of adopting sustainable habits in product development and CSR practice (Mbaskool.com, 2021). Concerning those reports, they have decided to explore CSR activity with waste management resulting in an increasing rate of active searching by customers and followers on "Boots.com". Over 22,000 items have been scanned and searched by customers on "Boots.com" concerning searching for sustainable credentials. An increasing rate of searching for sustainable products customers is 18% for refillable products and 58% for reusable products based on the report 2021 (Boots-uk.com, 2022). Boots has spent around £10 on increasing sales rates through implementing a sustainable business process concerning the utilisation of "recycling boots". Apart from that, Boots is realized that the 'Recycle at Boots' scheme will be successful in increasing sales rate and customer engagements, as well as it contributing to making an identical position as the biggest brand in the UK market. 

Challenges and opportunities



  • Strong allocation of pharmaceutical products in a wider market (Debnath and Roy, 2018)
  • Wide collection of health and beauty products
  • Leading health and beauty retailer business for more than 170 years (Boots-uk.com, 2022)
  • Social media involvement through Facebook and Twitter provides strength in business development (Boots-uk.com, 2022).
  • A great working environment delivers strong employment benefits for this organisation.
  • Specific market concentration delivers risk for this business.
  • The lack of retail stores in the worldwide business delivers flaws in the globalisation process.
  • Reliance factor in the UK market due to fluctuations, transformation in standpoint, and inconsistency deliver weakness in this business process.



  • Active listening to customers, learning, and innovativeness in business products provide support for business expansion.
  • A wide collection of stores approx 2200 delivers growth opportunities in business revenue (Boots-uk.com, 2022)
  • Sustainability approach in the business process as this considers 100% organic products in the packaging process (Boots-uk.com, 2022).
  • The online shopping process delivers opportunities to grab more customers and sales of this business. 
  • Market competitors such as superdrug.com, johnlewis.com, argos.co.uk, and wilko.com pose threats to this business process (Similarweb.com, 2022). 
  • Superdrug is a direct and top competitor of this organisation as this captured 5.8 million customer visits in November 2022 (Semrush.com, 2022).
  • Strict rules and regulations deliver limited opportunities for activity.

Table 2: SWOT analysis of Boots UK







Healthcare products with beauty products





Unused competitive advantage

Recycling in kitchen packaging and bathroom products





Long-term competitive advantage

Consideration of 10 million units of cotton wool to continue with a 100% organic approach





Temporary competitive advantage

Record using of recycling scheme in 2022 January (Boots-uk.com, 2022)





Long-term competitive advantage

Presentation of products and price on packaging cartoons (Hammad, 2015)





Unused competitive advantage

Table 3: VRIO Analysis of BOOTS

Ansoff matrix

New market 

Market development

  • Online shopping process through organisational website delivers development in sales and market.
  • Walgreens Boots Alliance delivers support in the market development process of this business.


  • Diversification due to including the shopping process through various departments such as Christmas, star gift, electrical, 3 for 2, and gift cards
  • In collaboration with Macmillan Cancer Support, the hygiene bank can deliver diversification of this business (Boots.com, 2022). 

Existing market

Market penetration

  • Boots consider healthcare activities through continuing local pharmacies and largest flagship stores (Boots-uk.com, 2022). 
  • Hearing care and optician, practices deliver market penetration for this business (Boots-uk.com, 2022). 

Product development

  • New beauty & skin care products such as "the ultimate 14-piece luxury gift set" (Boots.com, 2022)
  • Premium beauty, fragrance, child product, electrical, and wellness (Boots.com, 2022)

Existing product

New product

Table 4: Ansoff Matrix of Boots

Sustainable development through considering SDG 9

 Sustainable development goal considers 17 goals in it and the United Nations includes overall development in social, economic, and environmental aspects in it. Goal 9 of this SDG considers industry, infrastructure, and innovation in it and includes developing resilient infrastructure through promoting sustainable and inclusive industrialisation and developing innovation in the organisation (Sdgs.un.org, 2022). This goal considers the activity of global manufacturing that is reconstructed after the pandemic, financial support for small-scale industries, and the introduction of the modern technology industry. In addition, this also considers development in the airline industry and the development of benefits to the passengers of this industry. Boots UK considers a sustainability approach through continuing innovation strategy in the business process. This organisation considers a 100% organic approach through continuing cotton wool packaging products and considers a recycling approach in household accessories such as kitchen and bathroom products. Boots is considering banning every plastic-based wet wipe from its business products and services as they eliminated approx157 tonnes of plastic waste in 2021. The innovation approach included a recycling scheme in January 2022 and considered an initiative in the recycling of products as this company completed the recycling of approx more than 580000 products (Boots-uk.com, 2022). This shows business activity towards maintaining sustainable development goal 9 to continue with sustainable development in the business process. 

Strategy and Entrepreneurship models

Digital technology innovation is a key strategy that can lead a business to continue with transformation in the business process. Implementation of digital business strategy delivers support in highlighting organisational initiatives and the impact of technology that develops individual entrepreneurship in the organisation. The present digital transformation considers a wide range of activities such as the acceleration of the transformation process and development competencies of the business (Kraus et al. 2019). Corporate entrepreneurship strategy (CES) includes business coordination efforts of entrepreneurship and an overarching approach to convey the diversification of the organisation. CES includes a vision-centric approach that focuses on entrepreneurial behavior to explore entrepreneurial opportunities in the organisation (Kreiser et al. 2021). Whereas Morris et al. (2011), stated that managers need to consider entrepreneurial activity in terms of business overall strategies to continue with the overall development of the organisation. This can be achieved by considering the alignment of the internal environment with sustainable and innovation-inducing strategies. According to Kreiser et al. (2021), configuration theory considers development-centric activity by focusing on various environmental and systems elements of the organisation. This theory considers external fit and internal fit assessments and out of these two, the external fit assessment considers the relationship between external parameters and the organisation, and internal fit considers the relationship between internal parameters and the organisation. These two measurements focus on developing sustainability and innovativeness strategies that can continue long-term advantages in the organisation. 

Boots UK considers the responsible retailing approach to provide support in building healthy and sustainable communities to convey with development in competencies of the organisation. The responsible retailing approach includes working together with stakeholders to continue the progression and problem-solving activities to mitigate critical issues in the organisation. This approach focuses on various critical issue parameters such as climate change, youth employment, developing pressure on natural resources, and regeneration of the town centre to together a community. The CSR approach of Boots UK follows a mission and purpose that focuses on the development of the health of consumers and communities, environment protection, sustainable product development, and consideration of customers and products as a core value of the organisation (Boots-uk.com, 2022). The CSR management of Boots UK considers introducing a report on four key parameters such as community, marketplace, environment and workplace and every scorecard of this report delivers a long-term strategy of core actions, milestones and targets to monitor and report the overall performance of the organisation. Boots UK considers reviewing priorities that can develop a scorecard to identify current issues to meet stakeholders' needs throughout line entire process with effective business strategy. CSR of Boots UK considers ensuring efforts to satisfy with overall priorities of Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Boots UK introduced Christmas cards, wrapping paper online, tags and feature designs in-store to aspire to train young entrepreneurs and provide mentoring support and explore resources and funding for the business in 2021 (Boots-uk.com, 2022). Diversification in business is also an activity that entrepreneurs consider to develop the popularity and profitability of the organisation. Boots UK and its charity partner named "The Prince's Trust" launched a "virtual careers Masterclass" named "Joy of the Journey" to deliver career insights and advice to youth. This considers providing support to youth people to develop their careers through getting more employment opportunities and encouragement and guidance to ensure the development of their careers (Boots-uk.com, 2022). The boots superintendent pharmacist delivers an update on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and shared that this is an outcome of bacteria that getting invulnerable to antibiotics and get a reduction in its effectiveness in treating process (Boots-uk.com, 2022). This considers awareness activity to people about the functions of bacteria and antibiotics to get cured diseases and develop their health of people. Therefore, the above-mentioned information delivers a sustainable approach for Boots UK by considering social, economic and environment to continue with long-term sustainable development goals in the organisation.


The sustainable development goals of the UK are associated with several components such as business with resilient infrastructure, encouraging innovation, and promoting industrial activities with a sustainable approach to the environment. "UN sustainable development goals" involved constructing new and greener environments through utilising processes, and approaches of reconfiguring and retrofitting existing infrastructure that helps to explore innovative and sustainable infrastructure. Exploring smart and potential technologies in the business management processes concerning production, waste management, and service process is important for ensuring environmental sustainability with the innovation of new operational processes. A significant target of "UN sustainable development goals" is associated with the reduction of pollution, waste, and environmental impacts that leads to reducing the possibility of different environmental risk and disaster risks through delivering resilient construction (Unep.org, 2022). Apart from that, it can be recommended that Boots UK have to develop its operational process and organisational, infrastructure to encourage resilience and environmental sustainability by enhancing the use of natural resources in the production process. Firstly, "Sustainable developments goals 9" is targeting to develop quality, sustainable reliable and resilient infrastructure. Resilient infrastructure includes the implementation of trans-border and regional infrastructure by providing identical principles and setting action plans. Resilience infrastructure in the beauty industry is associated with demonstrating scientific information based on product quality and composition concerning the utilization of natural sources contributes to encouraging customers' interest and preference. Increasing customer preferences due to a brief description of products and their quality are associated with a strategic marketing process that leads to increased sales. Apart from that, it can be stated that "UN, sustainable development golaes9" concerning the development of infrastructure and utilisation of natural sources will contribute to increasing business reputation and overcoming competitive threats. On the other hand, "UN, sustainable development goals 9" aims to support economic evolution. It is concerning environmental sustainability and human well-being as well as producing and delivering equitable and affordable components for people that signify reducing cost and improving quality. Therefore, Boots UK has to reduce product prices and increase the quality of products for creating a brand reputation that helps to deal with the market competition with recognizable positioning. 

"UN sustainable development goal 9" is targeting to raise the share of different industries. The beauty industry is suggesting increasing their contribution to employment, which helps to increase the per capita income and "gross domestic product" of a particular region (Un.org, 2021). Economic growth with the growth of economic conditions leads to implementing national circumstances that have to adopt by Boots UK to represent economic strength as a competitive advantage in the existing market concerning positioning. 

The concern of "UN sustainable development goals" to facilitate endurable and resilient infrastructure for implementing financial and environmental aspects of different countries leads to increased utilisation of technology and innovation. Enhanced financial and technological aspects in industrial activities suggest improving the operational process of mentioned organisation UK that contributes to ensuring the development of business with an increasing economy and productivity effectively. Throughout this study, it can be recommended that Boots UK have to advance technology in their business process to reach customers' preferences, and align "UN: sustainable development goals 9" actively. 

Suggestion for a realistic proposal

Throughout the analysis of the environmental context including external, internal, and competitive analysis, it can be proposed that the utilisation of a sustainable business strategy is beneficial for increasing business capability and market share with effective customer involvement. According to a market report based on customer interest, approximately 80% of customers prefer to utilise sustainable beauty products produced from natural sources concerning their skin. Nearly 60% of customers focus on changing their shopping experiences based on their sustainable shopping behaviour because they are concerned about reducing environmental impact. Therefore, this Company has to utilise natural resources in the manufacturing process that will contribute to delivering natural products. Moreover, changing the packaging system to a recycling package helps to minimize waste, which can be recognized as a significant action for sustainable business processes. Utilizing recycled packaging helps to influence effectiveness in sustainable business processes for Boots UK. It is important to include in the operational process considering the development of a resilient infrastructure approach of "UN sustainable development goals 9". Apart from that, it can be assessed that this company’s sales can be improved by using recycled packages and natural products because it helps to reach customers' expectations and requirements effectively.

On the other hand, Boots have to ban toxic ingredients to produce natural beauty products that will contribute to influencing sales rate with effective customer involvement. Current market research helps to analyse that 80% of customers are interested in using natural proceed due to their consciousness of skin and health (Lmi.edu, 2021). Moreover, FDA has prohibited reducing the use of toxic ingredients concerning the increased toxicity in water waste of beauty company reaches water resources. Several toxic components in beauty products are formaldehyde, carcinogens, and other chemicals that lead to affecting the reproductive system and hormonal issues in the human body. A customer suggested including organic ingredients in cosmetic and beauty products due to their health consciousness and environmental sustainability. 


Boots UK considers a wide approach in business products and services to continue with development in the business process. This report also includes information on the external environment through PESTLE analysis of the UK to provide advantages and disadvantages of this business in the UK. VRIO analysis of this organisation provides advantages and includes supportive components of this business in global concept and consideration of the sustainable approach delivers long-term advantages in this business. The proposed preview is proposing using safer and organic ingredients in products to minimize the toxicity of water and environments as well as protect human bodies from issues regarding hormonal disruption and reproductive system damage. This report wants to deliver future scope for further development of this research.



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Inghels, D., 2020. Introduction to Modeling Sustainable Development in Business Processes: Theory and Case Studies. UK: Springer Nature.


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