Boots wields axe over half its comms team

Retailer Boots is laying waste to around 40 PR jobs as part of 900 job cuts announced by the high-street stores group last week.

The PR cull at Boots’s Nottingham-based HQ, will see the company’s 75-strong PR team cut by half.

‘A reduction in head count of about 50 per cent across all areas of our communications is proposed,’ said Boots head of financial media relations Donal McCabe.

In addition it is closing its Brussels office, which exists to monitor EU legislation. As a result, Boots’s Brussels head of corporate affairs Lyn Trystman-Gray has been made redundant.

Although the jobs in the firm’s 75-strong PR operation are under review, Boots said other senior level PR positions would not be under threat by the restructure.

The plans have being spearheaded by Boots’s new CEO Richard Baker, who joined the company last September. Baker hopes to improve the firm’s competitiveness with the supermarkets with aggressive price cuts and longer store opening hours.

Boots comms director Jayne Mayled said that the redundancies were part of plans to modernise its business. ‘We remain totally committed to providing in-house PR for the business and will continue to work with a small number of agencies. Our restructure will focus on realigning our workload to reflect the new priorities and activities of the company,’ Mayled added.

Boots retains Tulchan Communications for financial PR and Weber Shandwick/GJW for public affairs. The company said that it had no plans to review these accounts.

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