Wellness is constantly on our minds, and here at Boots we want to help the UK live well and we believe everyone should feel their best. Sarah, the Director of Wellness tells us how she came to her role, and dives into the world of wellness at Boots.
I joined Boots 5 years ago when I got married and was moving back to Nottingham, where both my husband and I are from. If it wasn’t for Boots being based in Nottingham and it being the fantastic business that it is, with values similar to mine I’m not sure I would have been so keen to leave London where I was living at the time! I joined at the time that Boots was merging with Walgreens and a new division was created, Global Brands, which I played a part in helping to establish alongside managing our Boots Own Brand range of over 3000 products. It was an exciting time to join!
This position was created last year to accelerate the role that Boots plays in Wellness, as the customer mindset is shifting towards holistic, preventative health & wellness. What I love about my job is the diversity… it’s been my job to define what Wellness means for Boots and that involves everything from spending time with customers understanding what we can do to help them and what they’re looking for, then bringing that to life in store, online, through our colleagues, marketing campaigns and much more. Most of all I love that we can make a difference to customers lives. Boots plays a unique role in terms of the trust and expertise customers come to us for and we have a responsibility to help people understand how they & their families can live and stay well.
Many! I think one of the best things about my career at Boots has been the opportunity to develop & learn new parts of the business – from product development, to developing marketing campaigns and developing concept stores, I’ve learnt so much and each role has pushed me in different ways and it’s helped me become a more rounded leader. Most recently, we created the Boots Live Well Panel which is a YouTube series that dives deeper into key wellness topics & trends, which I’ve been hosting. Having never done anything like that before the first time we were on set filming and I was interviewing guests was incredibly daunting, but I really enjoyed it and got to interview some fascinating experts from across the industry to develop content that our customers seem to really love!
I’m proud of the work we’ve done on Wellness across the last year, launching a new marketing campaign ‘Reboot’, a partnership with Public Health England to help 1 million people take small, manageable steps to improve their health with the Boots Wellness Reboot quiz (check it out boots.com/rebootquiz), launching the Live Well Panel and from a business perspective Wellness is now the fastest growing part of our business.
I’ve got a natural drive and strong work ethic which I think comes from seeing how hard my grandparents (who moved to the UK from India in 1940 with very little) and my parents worked to support my brothers and I as we grew up. I’ve also been lucky enough to have some fantastic managers along the way who have really invested their time and energy into giving me opportunities to grow, helping me build on my strengths and also work on my opportunities such as building my confidence which has gone through highs and lows over the years. The support of my managers has encouraged me to push myself out of my comfort zone and given me diverse experiences that have helped to broaden me beyond my core experience in commercial.
Having grown up in Nottingham, across the city you can see the impact that Boots has had on the city so I from a young age I had an affinity and interest in Boots and I’ve always been fascinated by retail (I love shopping!) and particularly in health & beauty. But for me the key reason I chose Boots over other companies comes down to the purpose and values – at the heart of the company we are focused on supporting the health & happiness of the nation, helping people to feel good and making a difference in the community and it’s those values that attracted me to the company.
I think an interesting area for wellness is gut health, as it’s an area with lots of newly emerging science and as 70% of our immune system being in our gut and customers are certainly wanting to learn more about how they can improve their gut health. The other trend is sleep – we know that so many people struggle with getting to sleep, getting enough sleep, getting good quality sleep… the list goes on! But what’s exciting is some of the future product ranges I’m starting to see that will truly help people in this area.
Currently we’re seeing customer focus turn to Immunity, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic our customers have never been more engaged on how they can keep themselves and their family well. We’re seeing a real interest in lifestyle changes that people can make to support their immune system and help them stay well which is something we’re well placed to do. Our pharmacists give dedicated immunity advice, and we have a fantastic range of products & services we offer that can really help make a difference and help people to stay well.
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