The corporation behind LloydsPharmacy and the now defunct Betterlife Healthcare is refocusing and adapting its retail strategy in the face of ‘changing consumer habits’.
McKesson UK ran industry retailer Betterlife, which collapsed in April, after the company said that the living aids market has experienced similar issues to the rest of the high street and that it has become “increasingly difficult to remain competitive”.
The group’s portfolio also includes John Bell & Croyden, known for its Royal Warrant and luxurious diamond-encrusted mobility products.
McKesson UK has now appointed a new chief retail officer to guide its portfolio through challenges in the market.
Kevin Birch was formerly retail pharmacy operations director at Boots, leading over 65,000 colleagues across 2,500 stores.
McKesson’s CEO Toby Anderson said that Birch (pictured) has joined at a time when the industry faces “a lot of change”.
He said: “Our retail business has faced many challenges recently which means we’ve had to adapt and refocus, but we know from speaking to our customers that they still value the face-to-face interactions they can have with our pharmacy teams.
“Bricks and mortar pharmacies, rooted in communities, will always be a huge part of our business.
“As we respond to changing consumer habits, we need to make sure we continue to add value for our patients and customers by making our services even more accessible and convenient.”
Kevin Birch will be part of the McKesson UK executive leadership team and be responsible for all UK retail operations, including LloydsPharmacy and John Bell & Croyden.
He will take over from Nigel Swift, retail and marketing director, who will leave the business later this year after almost 20 years of service.
Kevin Birch said: “We have an opportunity to create a truly compelling omni-channel offering for our customers and patients, with retail pharmacy at the heart of it.”
“We have around 1,500 stores up and down the country, and the LloydsPharmacy brand is trusted by millions of people every year who come to us to help them feel better.
“That gives us a strong foundation to build on as we look to deliver more services and develop an even better customer experience.”
McKesson has had a challenging few months. Last year if appointed a new CEO following the announcement that it would be culling around 190 LloydsPharmacy stores.
At the end of 2018 the group underwent a rebrand and name change.