Boots has launched its new healthy and convenient food offer in stores today, in partnership with Irish food retail giant Musgrave. The range includes meat, fish and ready meals as well as in-store delis.
Eleven of the health and beauty retailer’s across England will carry food, including lines from Musgrave’s SuperValu range which is also sold in Budgens and at eponymous stores in Ireland. The price points of SuperValu ready meals start at £2.00.
Boots will also offer food products from the Kirstys range and will sell alcohol.
Retail Week revealed in May that Boots planned to introduce a meal range in September.
The new convenience offer focuses on ‘food to go’, ‘food for later that night’ and ‘fresh top up’.
Two formats – the mini and maxi – will be introduced across the stores in an initial 12 month trial.
Stores in Fort Dunlop, Warrington, York, Swindon, Colchester and Chapelfield Norwich will operate the mini format where customers will be able to buy ready meals, fruit and veg, salad, desserts, tea and coffee and bakery goods. The mini format will launch in London stores St Pancras and Green Park in October.
The maxi format will sell the same range, with an additional offer of meat, fish, breakfast and a deli, dairy goods and store cupboard essentials. Stores in Manchester, Woking and Watford will offer this format.
It is a much more vaired food offering than Boots, which is owned by pharmaceutical giant Alliance Boots, has ever had before. Boots has previously experimented with extending its food offer with Waitrose but this ended earlier this year after it failed to meet both retailers’ expectations.
Alliance Boots health and beauty chief executive Alex Gourlay said of the new food offer: “We are very pleased to be partnering with Musgrave on this trial. It builds on our own extended food offer of Shapers and Delicious whilst exploring how we can deliver even greater choice and convenience for our customers through a broader food offering.”
Alliance Boots and US drugstore giant Walgreens revealed plans for a merger of the two companies in June. Walgreens already has an extensive food offer in its stores across the US.