01 January 1998

Boots the Chemist and Asda are to open GP surgeries in their stores next year, emulating J Sainsbury and accelerating the trend of the retail mammoths to screw cash out of consumers any which way they can. The Boots venture is in partnership with Sinclair Montrose, a private company that has already established a surgery at London's Victoria Station. The first instore surgery is due to open early in 1998 and by the year end there will be clones in at least half a dozen Boots outlets. Elevating hypocrisy to an art form, a Boots mouthpiece claimed: 'This is part of our effort to regenerate town centres.'