Boots names ex-Asda COO as retail chief
Boots continues a busy seven days on the retail front with the UK health & beauty giant appointing Anthony Hemmerdinger its new head of physical stores with the title of executive retail director. He succeeds Peter Bowrey who is leaving to become vice-president for store operations at Amazon Fresh, leading its US operations.
Hemmerdinger will oversee Boots retail operations and store estate, Retail Week reported. In his new post, he will be tasked with overseeing all of Boots’ retail operations and 2,247-strong store estate. He will report directly to Boots senior vice-president and managing director Seb James.
The appointment marks Hemmerdinger’s first retail appointment since he stepped down from Asda last year following the takeover of the value supermarket chain by the Issa brothers and TDR Capital. He had been at Asda for more than six years, latterly as chief operating officer. He has also held senior posts at Sainsbury’s and Carphone Warehouse.
Hemmerdinger’s appointed coincides with a concentrated rise in its retail activity for Boots. Last week, it announced the launch of a new online marketplace platform from next spring, as well as introducing a new 'everyday' 60-product budget range as Boots attempts to attract consumers cutting back in the cost-of-living crisis.
Boots has also undertaken a wider refocus programme on its store offer. Earlier this year it said the in-store experience “is still hugely important”, and it's improving its store status in a post-pandemic makeover that will initially see 30 stores upgraded alongside new openings.
Boots has revamped regional stores by introducing beauty consultation areas and new brands including Drunk Elephant, MAC and Fenty Beauty, the already highly successful product range by the pop star Rihanna.
At the time, James said: “While our online sales continue to grow, the in-store experience is still hugely important, which is why we have continued to invest in our new-look beauty halls throughout the pandemic and beyond. I am confident our beautiful new beauty halls will help to drive more footfall into Boots.”
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