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Boots positive momentum continues with excellent Christmas and digital growth driving strong Q2 results

28 March 2024
News Brand
  • Boots sales continue to grow with Q2 retail sales up 5.9% YOY
  • Continued momentum builds on record-breaking prior year performance
  • Twelfth consecutive quarter of retail market share growth
  • Strong growth across digital channels, with boots.com sales up 16.8%
  • Beauty sales boosted by new brands, upgrades to key beauty halls and launch of beauty-only store
  • Boots Online Doctor drives growth in healthcare services
  • Response to NHS Pharmacy First Service in England highlights the opportunity for ‘healthcare on the high street’

Boots continued its strong performance for the second quarter of the year, reporting retail sales growth of 5.9% for the three months to 29 February 2024, on top of a 16% increase in the prior year quarter.

More customers are shopping at Boots with footfall up both in store and online, and a twelfth consecutive quarter of retail market share growth. Boots.com and the Boots app continue to grow rapidly with digital sales up 16.8%, driven by particularly strong sales of beauty and personal care products.

In-store sales growth remained steady, up 4.5%, with flagship, shopping centre and travel stores performing particularly well. Airport stores saw double digit growth year-on-year, supported by a new store opening at Luton, and refurbishments at Gatwick and Manchester. 

Christmas trading was particularly strong with sales up throughout December. The beauty and gifting categories performed well with some of the most popular gifts being own brand gift sets, such as the No7 Ultimate Skincare Collection and the Soap & Glory Pop Spa Classics set.

The Boots beauty-only store opened in London’s Battersea Power Station in December, coinciding with the launch of even more new beauty brands, and cementing Boots position as the UK’s leading beauty retailer. The store’s launch, along with upgrades to a number of Boots beauty halls across the UK, contributed to overall beauty sales growth with particularly strong gains in skincare. 19 new beauty brands launched in the quarter with Skincare brand Bubble landing exceptionally well, selling one product per minute at launch. Other popular brands included Sol De Janeiro, Drunk Elephant, Byoma and Boots owned No7, which had a strong quarter with sales up 15%.

In healthcare, Boots saw services deliver growth of almost 40% driven by continued strong performance of Boots Online Doctor, with weight loss proving the most popular and fastest growing service. In retail health, steady sales growth was driven by gains in the Boots own label range, with own brand vitamins and pain relief performing particularly well.

The NHS Pharmacy First Service in England launched in January and has been extremely well received by customers, with over 20,000 consultations carried out by Boots pharmacists in the first few weeks of operating. The service alleviates pressure on GPs by expanding the role of pharmacists to advise and prescribe for the treatment of seven common health conditions including earache, sore throat and sinusitis.

Customers continue to respond well to a focus on value with Boots Price Advantage driving an increase in sign-ups to the Advantage Card, with one million new members joining in the past year.

Sebastian James, Boots UK & ROI CEO, commented: “I am really pleased to see our positive momentum continue across the whole business, with more people shopping with us both online and in store, and strong gains in both our key markets of healthcare and beauty.  

“I am particularly proud of our pharmacy team, who worked incredibly hard to launch Pharmacy First in England; the feedback from patients has been brilliant and it is clear that they value the convenience of accessing a trusted healthcare professional on their local high street with no appointment necessary. We see a significant opportunity to do more in this area, helping customers to get better quickly, supporting communities and relieving the burden on the NHS.”

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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on boots-uk.com.

*Figures accurate as of 30 November 2023