Boots plans to open stores overseas

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The Independent Online
Boots is to open health and beauty stores overseas in a pounds 30m programme over the next 18 months. Boots will open three stores in Holland next summer. Five will open in Thailand. Plans for Japan are expected shortly.

The company said in June that it was investigating international retailing opportunities. Boots chief executive, Lord Blyth, said yesterday: "The purpose of opening these pilot stores is to carry out a thorough evaluation of the commercial opportunities and operational issues before considering the scope for further investment in these counties or elsewhere."

In Holland, Boots has reached an agreement with a local company, Eva, to operate a pharmacy service in the shops.

The news came as the Government said it would not refer Boots' acquisition of WH Smith's half-share of Do-It-All, the DIY chain, to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.