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A global brand built step by step.

NOTTINGHAM, England -- As managing director and president of Boots Retail International, William Cotton is responsible for developing the Boots brand outside of the United Kingdom.

Cotton was appointed to his current post in 2000 with the mandate of turning around Boots' international business. And since then the company has discontinued poorly performing businesses in Japan, the Netherlands and Italy, and has rationalized businesses in Thailand and Taiwan.

In addition, Cotton has led Boots in the development of retail partnerships, not only with Target Corp. and CVS Corp. in the United States, but with companies across southeast Asia as well.

Boots now reaches out to global consumers in a variety of ways, depending on the market. In August it opened in Indonesia, where it runs concessions inside department stores as well as some small stand-alone stores. Boots operates a chain of 80 stores in Thailand, and it does business through a variety of arrangements throughout Europe. In Finland and Norway, for example, Boots has sections that are inside other retailers' stores. In the Netherlands, on the other hand, Boots simply acts as a supplier of products. In South Africa and the Republic of Ireland, Boots simply sells its Boots No. 7 brand of cosmetics.

"What we've found works for us most effectively is similar to what we're doing in the U.S.," Cotton says.

Boots, which launched its unique offer in selected CVS and Target stores last year as a test-marketing program, is now expanding its presence in America. Cotton says Boots now has sections in more than 100 Target stores as well as in about 50 CVS outlets. Boots' product lineup in the U.S. comprises some 600 products in seven lines: Boots No. 7, Botanics, Mediterranean, Eastern, Sleep, Time Dimensions and Detox.

"What we stand for in the U.S. and in all of our overseas markets ultimately is very similar to what we've stood for in the U.K. for 150 years," Cotton points out. "We're trusted for our professionalism, but we're also seen as a brand that is very caring and approachable. And that underpins what we offer all of our consumers, which is a great range of products supported by expertise."

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Title Annotation:Boots Company PLC's William Cotton
Publication:MMR
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 17, 2005
Words:365
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