Boots Franchise - Does It Franchise in the UK?

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Boots franchise

With 170 years of history, Boots is one of the most beloved retailers on the British high street. As a reputable and wide-ranging health and beauty retailer, Boots has around 2,500 stores across the UK - so many, in fact, that it is thought that 90 percent of the population live less than a ten-minute drive away from a Boots store.

People love Boots for its huge variety of skincare and cosmetics ranges, including its exclusive brands such as No7, Liz Earle and Soap and Glory. Its core business objective is To be the first choice for pharmacy, health and beauty caring for people, customers and communities everywhere.

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The retail giant has seen huge successes since its birth in the mid-1800s. Boots was first introduced as a stand-alone herbalist store in 1849, providing affordable alternatives to traditional medicines to the residents of Nottingham. John Boot, who launched the brand, passed it down through the male line of his family. He and his descendants built on Boots business model - to sell stationery and include library facilities in the late 1800s, offer vocational and academic classes to teenage employees through the Boots Day Continuation School by 1920, and open the first Boots 24-hour pharmacy in Piccadilly Circus in 1925.

By 1988, Boots Opticians was up and running and well on its way to becoming the UKs second largest optical retail brand. Today there are more than 600 branches in operation.

Boots began to offer its customers healthy rewards in 1997 by launching its own Advantage Card, enabling shoppers to earn points that can be used to secure discounts on future purchases. Today, over one in five Brits are active members of the scheme. In 2000, Boots further expanded, giving customers the chance to organise and print their own photographs with Boots Photo.

While Boots has not carried forward all of its original services into its current offering, it does operate a huge variety of different facilities, including Midnight and 24-hour pharmacies; vaccination and insurance services; Opticians and Hearingcare practices; photo-printing facilities; and even Boots Parenting Club, which helps new parents by offering extra Advantage points, free gifts and expert advice.

Boots has also worked to establish constructive partnerships with charities and organisations that help others, such as The Princes Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support. Also, the Boots Charitable Trust supports organisations across Nottinghamshire, where Boots originated. Since 1970, it has donated over £10 million to worthy causes.

Is Boots a Franchise?

There is no doubt that Boots is a huge brand, as it employs over 56,000 people across the UK 6,500 of which are qualified pharmacists. Despite its successful expansion though, Boots does not currently operate a franchise model all of its branches are company-owned.

Boots Pharmacy Franchise

Although neither Boots nor its pharmacy stores franchise, investors who are interesting in getting involved in the healthcare sector could turn to Boots subsidiary brand, Boots Opticians. The optical franchise, which conducts eye tests and sells glasses and contact lenses across the UK, is 100 percent franchised, allowing franchisees to keep all of the profits made without having to pay royalties to the franchisor.

This could be an extremely lucrative business move for investors taking a look at the eyecare sector. With a total investment of £160,000 and clinical and entrepreneurial experience, franchisees can benefit from guidance with site selection, lease negotiation, store design and local marketing campaigns. Other perks include internal apprenticeships, pre-registration training and Continuing Education and Training (CET). Whats more, franchisees own the equity within their own business and maintain the right to sell it whenever they wish.

More information on starting a franchise in the beauty sector can be found here.

Other Franchising Opportunities

Healthcare, beauty and retail can all be profitable and rewarding sectors to get involved with. Lets take a look at some related businesses currently advertising franchising opportunities.


This franchise is one of the oldest eye and hearing care businesses in the UK. Established in 1928, the family business has accumulated over 90 years of industry experience and prides itself on its quality of service; for example, it recommends an OCT scan as part of every regular eye test in every store. With 34 branches currently open across the South of England, Leightons is eager to expand further with the help of franchisees. In fact, there are three different opportunities for investors to look into: a franchise, a joint venture and a shared ownership agreement.

Entrepreneurs who would like to be a part of the Leightons story should make a minimum investment of £135,000 and pay franchisee fees of £20,000.


This franchise also operates across London and the South of England but instead offers hair and beauty services. Launched in 1994, Rush Hair & Beauty now has 94 salons and has accumulated 15 different British hairdressing awards. As a common sight on high streets across southern counties, Rush Hair & Beauty has established itself in the haircare sector as a reliable and high-quality brand.

Those who are interested in opening their own Rush salon will need to make a minimum investment of £15,000 and a total investment of between £150,000 and £165,000. While this is a significant amount of money, investors should see a return on investment within three years.

Rush claims that it should take no longer than six months to set up a franchised unit, from initial enquiry to the launch day. Investors must identify a suitable site of more than 800 square feet in a location with high consumer footfall such as a high street or retail park. Once investors have come on board, they will receive training in key business areas such as marketing, operations, HR and finance.

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