Boots may follow Tesco with a move into personal finance and banking.
According to a report in the Financial Times, the Alliance Boots group is seeking new areas of business that will increase sales across its network of 2,600 UK retail outlets.
The executive chairman of the privately-owned company, Stefano Pessina, told the newspaper that the business needs to offer customers new services.
He added that certain ideas are under discussion, including a move into personal banking.
Meanwhile, Tesco is proposing to open bank branches in 30 of its stores, by the end of this year.
The supermarket giant first indicated its ambitions in the banking sector last year, after it became sole owner of Tesco Personal Finance (previously a 50/50 joint venture with Royal Bank of Scotland).
The unit already offers credit cards plus savings and insurance products and initially the new banking arm will focus on these areas of the market.
However, the retailer has plans to launch a current account in late 2010 and possibly expand into mortgages in the years ahead.