NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has been losing U.S. customers for the better part of the past three years. Now a new, largely European management team is giving the largest U.S. drugstore chain a fresh face.
Walgreens Boots Alliance is redoing its stores with what's meant to be a more appealing cosmetics area with a wider array of products, even as it scales back its fresh food offering, according to Bloomberg. Most prominent will be the company's own Boots No. 7 skincare line, which has proved successful at drawing customers to stores in Europe.
It's all part of a plan to make Walgreens stores the destination of choice for health-conscious women who make the bulk of purchasing decisions for their families. The early results have been encouraging for the company: in Phoenix, a test market for Boots products, customers are making more repeat purchases and spending more money each time they enter the store. And Boots No. 7 has become the city's top-selling beauty brand for Walgreens.
The company will have to overcome the hurdles that tripped up rival CVS Health (CVS), which shut down a beauty-focused initiative after failing to get high-end cosmetics brands to stock its shelves. It will also have to contend with skepticism from consumers accustomed to going to the department store to buy top-tier skincare products.
Walgreens' beautification project was set into motion by the company's $15.3 billion buyout of Alliance Boots last year, the consummation of a two-stage deal by the U.S. drugstore chain that saw Alliance Boots executives fill the majority of the top jobs in the merged company.