LloydsPharmacy claims it is reversing the retail sector’s typical ‘high street-to-online’ routine by opening its first dedicated bricks and mortar ‘Betterlife’ store on Friday 15 August. More than a range of products, the store has been designed to create theatre and a more engaging retail experience with room sets and test and play areas, LloydsPharmacy reports.
Betterlife is the ‘independent living’ offering from LloydsPharmacy. In response to customer demand, which has resulted in strong and rapidly growing performance of Betterlife healthcare and mobility aids, the new store comprises 3,229sq ft of retail space and hundreds of product lines on display.
Designed with customer usability and comfort in mind, the store concept brings the Betterlife range to life by demonstrating them in room sets which customers can test and play in, from a fully furnished bedroom and bathroom to a multi-surface track to test mobility scooters and even a car boot to check the ease of loading products into vehicles.
In a new approach to the retailing of independent living products, the new store will be adjoined to the current LloydsPharmacy branch in New Wortley, Leeds. This will mean customers will have the opportunity to discuss both their mobility and personal healthcare needs at the same time with a LloydsPharmacy expert, all under one roof.
Betterlife from LloydsPharmacy is part of Celesio UK. Cormac Tobin, managing director of Celesio UK, said: “The store speaks of authority, with knowledgeable and passionate colleagues who understand the products and can curate decisions for customers, with their needs and desires in mind. The store is the first of its kind in an omni- channel approach, where you can buy in the store, have a delivery organised or click and collect. We offer all these choices for the new consumer who wants this intersection point of retailing, where the virtual world meets the real world, all handled in an authoritative and authentic manner through knowledgeable colleagues.
“Across all of our brands, including LloydsPharmacy, we’re evolving our omni-channel retail approach to help our customers access our products and services wherever they want. This also means accessibility for all as we believe that our customers should be able to trial and buy all our products, whatever their value. For that reason our products are exactly the same price whether they are ordered in store, online or over the phone and we’ve also introduced a monthly payment option to enable true accessibility for those that need or want it.”
Grant Abrahams, head of Betterlife from LloydsPharmacy, said: “The store is much more than just a large retail space – it’s an interactive experience designed with customers’ needs and concerns in mind. For many people, admitting that they need some help with their mobility can be an overwhelming chapter in their lives, so our plans have always focused on how we can make the experience not only easy but also relaxing, enjoyable and informative. That’s why we’ve placed such focus on ensuring that our products can be tested out with the help of our experts, in a range of different environments such as on our multi-surface track, our kitchen and lounge area and the car boot loading bay for the ultimate ‘try before you buy’ experience.
“A comprehensive range will be demonstrated in the store, with more considered purchase products such as beds and stair lifts on display right alongside other popular products such as the Style Mobility Scooter, tri-walkers and recliners. We’ve also introduced a new wide-fitting footwear range, DB Shoes, exclusively available in-store. We expect that the convenience of the adjoining pharmacy will be a further huge attraction for many of our customers.”
Tobin said: “LloydsPharmacy already has a strong presence in Leeds with 25 branches situated in the city, so the location – also close to the motorway and with free parking for our customers – is perfectly positioned to help leverage the Betterlife store in its infancy. Our vision is to make our products tangibly accessible to all across the UK, and the Yorkshire store is an important step towards providing a spread of locations for customers to find them.”
A selection of Betterlife products is available to purchase from 950 LloydsPharmacy branches across the UK with the wider range available through catalogues in LloydsPharmacy stores and online. Retail performance through all channels has been very positive, the company reports.
Independent pharmacies will soon also be able to sell Betterlife products. From the beginning of September Celesio UK will be offering its independent customers a variety of options including the ability to host a display unit for catalogues and products, a one-wall bay option with a selection of smaller product items to sell, and a walking stick stand. Customers will be able to purchase smaller items in the pharmacy, order non-display items for collection from the pharmacy or have products delivered to their home.
The Betterlife store is located in New Wortley, Leeds, within close proximity to the M621 motorway. There are 21 free parking spaces available for customers of the Betterlife store and adjacent LloydsPharmacy.