Boots Chooses IBM to Help Empower Employees to Drive Sales

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LONDON & SOMERS, NY - 01 Jul 2004: Boots, the UK's largest pharmacy and health care chain, has chosen IBM to develop an in-store employee portal to help store managers and staff deliver better customer service which will in turn drive sales.

Accessible through check-outs and personal digital assistants, the portal will provide Boots store managers and staff with access on demand to training materials and personalised advice to complete tasks in progress more efficiently. The initiative is part of Boots' strategy to simplify internal processes giving staff more time to assist customers on the shop floor.

The portal will be the foundation for quick and simple delivery of a wide range of information and applications, enabling stores to be run more efficiently and profitably. Materials available will include advice on serving customers, managing constant stock availability on store shelves and driving sales plans.

"Our customer appeal is founded on our heritage of expert service and advice. We're empowering our store managers and staff with the tools they need to drive our outstanding retail offering. IBM is providing us with a solution to improve customer service and drive revenue by empowering our staff," said Brad Poulson, Director of Store Systems at Boots.

Integral to the project will be input from key Boots store staff who are being consulted on the type of information they need on a daily basis to serve customers more efficiently. Work on the portal is already underway and pilots are scheduled in 21 stores next month.

"Maintaining leadership in retail is about making a visit to a store so compelling that customers keep coming back," says Neil Holland, IBM Retail Client Executive. "The Boots employee portal will drive new levels of customer service and productivity for Boots, empowering store staff to deliver the optimal shopping experience for sophisticated consumers. It enables Boots to exceed customers' demands and maintain its leadership in the market."