The prominent Boots UK has recently announced that it is in trouble. On May 28, 2019, the beauty and health retailer hinted at the possible closure of approximately 200 stores all over the UK. Considering that it has almost 2500 stores in the region, 200 is a significant figure, and it is not something to ignore.
The goal that Boots has is to reduce its costs by a billion dollars globally. The main reason for the gradual downfall has been the increase in competition from discounters and online shops.
For instance, Amazon can provide the same beauty products that Boots will offer, but at more convenience and less cost to the customer. Discounters like Aldi and Lidl, however, have been the ones spearheading the demise of retailers.
Problems For The Industry
Indeed, Boots is not the only retailer suffering in the industry. Many will remember the high profile failure of Maplin, which went bust in spite of having over 200 stores in mid-2017.
Poundworld is another that went into administration in 2018 before it became defunct a few months later. That was a business that was once in over 300 locations within the UK.
Just recently, Debenhams also announced that it would be closing 22 stores, which will result in at least a loss of 1000 businesses. There is a problem in the UK retail industry, and the situation needs a solution before it is too late.
Hope For Retail?
Given all the gloom for retailers at the moment, it is pertinent to discuss if there is any hope for the future.
One reason for the current situation in the market is the high business rates.
Online retailers like Amazon do not have the same problem, which could explain their advantage. If the government decides to lower rates, it would be a much-needed relief for the industry.
The uncertainty over Brexit is also affecting the players as no one can predict the business environment after October 2019. Added to the weakening of the pound over the last few months, Brexit has caused some strain to businesses, and most cannot wait until certainty is achieved.