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Boots to make cuts of £100m in costs

UK chemist chain Boots says it will cut £100m in costs by spring 2002 and use the cash to rebuild itself as part of a four-year rationalisation plan, which has already seen the loss of 1,000 high-street jobs since March.

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LONDON (Brand Republic) – UK chemist chain Boots says it will cut £100m in costs by spring 2002 and use the cash to rebuild itself as part of a four-year rationalisation plan, which has already seen the loss of 1,000 high-street jobs since March.

Those job losses are thought to be recouped by Boots’ plans to exploit the £11bn UK health and beauty market with branded fitness centres and dental practices, which would create more than 1,000 jobs.

The retailer, which employs 85,000 staff including part-timers, lost £1.9m on handbag.com, the women’s internet portal joint venture with Hollinger Digital New Media, between April and September this year.

Although the site attracts 310,000 visitors per month, Boots said it would continue to invest in the site, along with an £18m deal with Granada Media to run a digital TV channel dedicated to health and beauty information and shopping.

Pre-tax profits grew 2.3% to £271.3m over the six months to the end of September. The restructuring plans come as Boots is increasingly squeezed by supermarket chains and competitors such as Superdrug.



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