Boots boss Alex Gourlay to move across the pond

Kasmira Jefford
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ALLIANCE Boots’ health and beauty boss Alex Gourlay has been promoted to lead a similar division at its larger American partner Walgreens, as the two companies move closer towards a merger.

Gourlay will join Walgreens as executive vice president and president of customer experience and Daily Living, starting at its Chicago headquarters in October, the group said yesterday.

Daily Living is Walgreens’ retail division – similar to Boots in Britain – and spanning around 8,096 drugstores in the US.

It accounts for around $27bn of Walgreens’ sales and has around 80m customers subscribed to its loyalty card compared to 18m in Boots’ loyalty scheme.

“Walgreens have an excellent retail strategy but have only been alive for three years so I am going to try and accelerate that strategy,” Gourlay said.

America’s largest pharmacy chain bought a 45 per cent stake in Alliance Boots last year for £4.2bn, with an option to buy the 55 per cent remaining stake in the next two and a half years.