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Boots delivers strong pandemic bounce back as successful transformation continues

31 March 2022
News Brand
  • Boots UK comparable Q2 retail sales up 22% with market share gains across all categories, led by Beauty
  • Boots.com sales up 60% versus pre-Covid levels (Q2 2020), now representing more than 15% of Boots UK retail sales
  • Store footfall increased 52% versus prior year quarter, with basket size now up 15% versus pre-Covid
  • Boots continues to deliver on its three key transformation areas: beauty, healthcare and digital

Boots has delivered a strong performance for the second quarter ended 28 February 2022, with sustained retail and pharmacy sales growth and continued market share gains in all categories. Through the successful execution of its transformation plan – with a key focus on beauty, healthcare and digital – Boots further strengthened its position as the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer.

Q2 financial and operational highlights[i]:

  • Boots UK total sales grew 15.2%, despite trading headwinds from the Omicron variant
  • Boots UK comparable retail sales increased 22% with market share gains across all categories, led by Beauty
  • Boots.com continued to perform well with Q2 digital sales up 60% versus pre-Covid levels
    • Boots.com sales now account for more than 15% of Boots UK total retail sales (from pre-Covid levels of 9%) with an increasing proportion coming from the Boots UK mobile app
  • Boots UK comparable pharmacy sales increased 3.6%, reflecting stronger demand for pharmacy services
    • Sales from pharmacy services grew almost 75% year on year, benefitting from Boots UK’s new online healthcare services, flu vaccinations and Covid-19 testing
  • Increased footfall across Boots UK stores, up approximately 52% versus prior year quarter
  • Continued strength in store basket size, up 15% versus pre-Covid levels
  • Strategic review of the Boots business is in progress, in line with WBA’s renewed priorities and strategic direction, including greater focus on U.S. healthcare

 Sebastian James, Managing Director of Boots UK & ROI, commented:

“Boots continues to bounce back strongly from the pandemic and delivered another solid performance this quarter, with sustained retail and pharmacy sales growth and market share gains across all categories.

Our strategic focus continues to be on transforming our beauty, healthcare and digital offerings and this quarter we made excellent progress – with strong take-up of our new and existing healthcare services while maintaining our leading position in the growing beauty category.

Looking ahead, Boots is uniquely positioned to capture further growth through the combination of our broad and rejuvenated store portfolio and increasingly powerful online presence. It is a very exciting time for the business, and we are confident that as the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer, we are ideally placed to seize the opportunities presented by the growing healthcare and beauty markets.”

Additional operational highlights:

  • Beauty: Boots is the number one beauty destination in the UK, with a market share now above 40% for both premium make up and premium skin care as the overall beauty market continues to grow
    • Boots has placed additional focus on self-selection (affordable) Beauty this quarter, enhancing the range of its offering with the launch of Revolution and the relaunch of iconic beauty favourite 17 – offering 170 vegan, high-performing products for £5 or under
    • 66 beauty brands were launched by Boots in the past two years – with nine of the ten most wanted brands now available at Boots
    • Boots now offers over 500 beauty brands in-store and online including MAC, NARS, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Fenty Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics
    • Beauty accounts for 50% of sales on Boots.com
  • Healthcare: Boots is the UK’s largest pharmacy chain, and one of the most trusted and respected brands in the country[ii]
    • It now offers over 100 healthcare services, both online and in store, covering anything from acne treatment to period pain relief
    • This quarter, Boots launched on-demand mental health services, including Boots Online Doctor Depression & Anxiety Treatment, and additional support via Boots.com: Support Room; Livi Talking Therapies’ How are Things? Mood & Symptom Checker
    • Boots continues its successful flu vaccination programme. During the season, Boots increased the number of vaccines administered by more than double on the previous year, making it its biggest season to date.
  • Boots.com: The UK’s number one health and beauty website
    • Over 37 million monthly sessions on boots.com, up 40% versus pre-pandemic data
    • Next day click-and-collect is available at over 1,600 Boots stores
    • Weekly Boots app users have increased more than threefold since 2018
    • Since December Boots.com has operated plastic-free deliveries
  • Covid-19 support: Boots continues to play a fundamental role supporting the NHS and local communities throughout the Covid-19 pandemic 
    • Boots operates Covid-19 vaccination hubs in over 80 pharmacies across the UK and Ireland
    • Since January 2021, Boots has supported the NHS by delivering 1.6 million vaccinations

 

[i] Comparisons are versus the year-ago quarter unless otherwise stated

[ii] Source: OC&C Retail Proposition Index, OC&C analysis

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Boots UK is the largest pharmacy-led health and beauty chain in the UK and its purpose is to champion everyone’s right to feel good. With over 2,200 stores and a team of around 51,000 colleagues, of which approximately 5,600 are registered pharmacists, the Boots brand has been at the heart of local communities across the UK since 1849. Boots UK is committed to providing exceptional customer and patient care and being the first choice for pharmacy, beauty, healthcare and wellness, alongside offering its innovative portfolio of product brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle, Sleek MakeUP and YourGoodSkin.

Boots UK is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) – a global leader in retail pharmacy, impacting millions of lives every day through dispensing medicines, and providing accessible, high-quality care. More company information is available at boots-uk.com.