Boots partners with Durex to sell sex toys

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The Independent Online

Boots is in talks with condom maker Durex to sell sex toys in some of its 1,400 stores "in response to modern demand", it was confirmed today.

Boots is in talks with condom maker Durex to sell sex toys in some of its 1,400 stores "in response to modern demand", it was confirmed today.

The retail group said it has been in discussions for a year about selling Durex's Play sex toys - including vibrators and massage oils.

If plans get the go-ahead, the toys are "likely" to hit the shelves in 2005 and will be sold on a "store-by-store basis", a spokesman for the retail group said.

Donal McCabe added: "There is a market for them. Other people have brought them on to the high street. We are a modern retailer, we respond to modern demands and trends.

"People are much more comfortable discussing their sexuality and sexual problems. It's considered much more acceptable to seek help or to buy things to improve our sex life.

"Boots was set up in the 1850s (but) things change and progress. We were one of the first stores to put condoms on open sale and that caused a fuss at the time."

Once a market leader, Boots has fallen behind rivals in recent years.

Under new chief executive Richard Baker the retail group has embarked on a major restructuring as it looks to revive the performance of its core business and fend off competition from supermarket rivals.

Eighteen months ago it pulled the plug on its brief foray into Wellbeing services such as manicures and massages.

And last month it announced plans to close its laser hair removal, chiropody, laser eye correction and dental businesses - although Optical Express has since agreed to take on the latter two.

As part of its overhaul, Boots has introduced longer opening hours, extended Sunday openings, modernised pharmacies and introduced clearer in-store signs.

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