Mobility distributor Betterlife has outlined the importance of customers being able to access its own products via Lloyds Pharmacy outlets after it closed two stores earlier this year.
The retailer has a significant online presence and decided to shut one store in Leeds and one in a Birmingham retail park in March and April.
A statement from Betterlife, which has an expanding own-brand distribution operation, said: “Whilst many people choose to buy from us online, it’s important to us to maintain an omni-channel presence so that people can touch and feel our products before they buy so our Betterlife products are available through the Lloyds Pharmacy network.”
In March, a spokesperson from Lloyds Pharmacy told AMP that the closure of the Leeds store a result of customer feedback and the retailer evolving to meet clients’ needs.
The firm said that the closure came as it looked at new “new ways to evolve in order to achieve excellence in quality, range of products and convenience.”
The spokesperson said: “Since opening our first standalone Betterlife store in 2014 we have taken this customer-led approach and learnt how we can improve our offering including accessibility of our stores, ease of shopping with us, products and the quality of service we offer.
“Using this knowledge we have continued to transform the Betterlife business to ensure that we combine the accessibility of our physical stores and their teams, the customer convenience of digital channels and harness the skills of our people to provide a broader range of healthcare solutions.”
Betterlife, which was founded by Drive DeVilbiss’s retail director Grant Abrahams, originally launched as an e-commerce-only platform but moved into bricks and mortar in 2014. Its first store in Leeds aimed to be a new approach to mobility retail and was designed to “create theatre and a more engaging retail experience”.
The two closures follow Lloyds Pharmacy’s ‘mass’ store closure, where it announced it would shut or sold 190 branches in October.
Celesio said it had been forced into the move because of NHS cuts to reimbursement policy and “increases in retrospective clawbacks”.