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Leading high street retailer communicates significant change and impact of a merger

Key facts and figures

Business priorities: Implementing Change
Sector: Retail
Lead contact: Head of Communications
Employees in the picture: 75,000 people
Locations: United Kingdom
Lead time to launch day: 5 months

“The Big Picture People have been a significant contributor to everyone feeling part of the new strategy and to developing a ‘One Team, One Vision’ approach for the future. The Learning Map and tools enabled us to talk consistently and to involve everyone in the entire organisation in just a few weeks.”

Head of Communications

Our client’s challenge

At the time, Boots was a member of Alliance Boots, an international pharmacy-led health and beauty group. With around 2,600 stores from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores it had a 75,000 strong team of employees focused on helping customers look and feel better than they ever thought possible.

Boots had combined their two retail businesses in the UK, Alliance Pharmacy and Boots, and developed a multi-format store strategy. The merger created a strategic change in the vision from ‘World’s best health and beauty retailer’ to ‘World’s best pharmacy led health and beauty retailer’. This and the desire to build a business that was ‘better than both’ was the stimulus for a major communication cascade of the change and the opportunities it provided.

Our solution and results

Previous success with the The Big Picture People’s format of a visual Learning Map and support tools within Boots stores, prompted the development of a new initiative to focus on the merger with Alliance Pharmacy. The map provided a clear picture of the historical journey and the coming together of two businesses to form one that was ‘better than both’. Set against a backdrop of the revised store formats, learners were able to quickly assimilate the change and have the opportunity to explore the new ‘pharmacy led’ approach that features as part of a revised vision and strategy for the future.

A key focus area was the reinforcement of the customer-led approach to the business and the customer drivers that differentiate Boots from its competitors. Innovative approaches were taken to break down the contribution that individual people could commit to in their roles and to understanding their responsibility in protecting and growing the Boots brand.

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