- Boots like for like Q4 retail sales up 15.2%, exceeding pre-pandemic levels
- Strong Boots performance helped drive 65% increase in full year Adjusted Operating Income for WBA International
- Q4 store transactions up over 20%
- Boots.com sales more than double pre-pandemic levels
13 October 2022 – Boots delivered strong growth for the fourth quarter and full year ended 31 August 2022, with retail sales now exceeding pre-pandemic levels and growth across the full year driven by continuing strong performances in beauty, health and personal care, as well as new online healthcare services. A very strong Boots performance significantly contributed to a 65% increase in full year Adjusted Operating Income for WBA International.
Flagship and travel stores saw a particular boost in footfall as customers returned to city centres, airports and train stations, while multiple heatwaves and a return to travel led to a ‘two bottle summer’ for sunscreen, further driving Q4 sales. Boots.com also maintained gains made during the pandemic with sales now up over 100% versus Q4 2019.
Boots reinforced its position as the number one beauty retailer in the UK, launching 25 new and cult beauty brands this year. In Q4, 15 big names were added including Armani Beauty, Elemis and REN Skincare. With a new focus on professional haircare, new brands Pattern Beauty and Monday Haircare were introduced, joining over 500 beauty brands available at Boots – more than anywhere else on the High Street. No7, the UK’s number one skincare brand, continued to support customers with ground-breaking and innovative products, including its renowned range of Serums. Its Pro Derm Scan service, which offers dermatologist grade analysis of the skin, has now provided free personalised recommendations to over 320,000 Boots customers.
In healthcare, Boots Online Doctor is in growth as demand for 'pay as you go’ healthcare services accelerates. Boots also continues to support the NHS in providing vital healthcare services, including kickstarting its Winter Flu Jab Service across almost 2,000 stores.
Boots saw retail healthcare sales up nearly 14% in the quarter, driven by continued investment in own label healthcare ranges, including the launch of Boots first own label Erectile Dysfunction treatment, and the UK's first treatment for thrush and BV in a single product. Multiple heatwaves and a return to travel also resulted in a strong suncare performance, with the category seeing year on year sales increases of over 150% and Boots own brand suncare line, Soltan, enjoying its biggest week in suncare sales since 2013.
In response to the rising cost of living, Boots has introduced new ways to help customers get the best value, including launching a new everyday range which offers Boots lowest prices on essential products but with the same quality customers expect and trust from Boots. The Boots Price Lock Promise has frozen the prices of over 1,500 lines and Price Advantage has been expanded, offering Boots Advantage Card holders exclusive discounts on over 900 products.
Sebastian James, Managing Director of Boots UK & ROI, commented: “This is a really encouraging set of results. I am especially happy to see more and more customers choosing Boots over others and our market share rising as a result. In addition, I am pleased with the progress we are making in quickly introducing new, trending beauty brands, our healthcare services supporting the NHS and, of course, with our boots.com offer which is now double its pre-pandemic levels.
“We know that cost of living will be a big consideration for everybody and we have frozen 1,500 prices, launched Boots everyday with excellent products for as little as 50p, and massively expanded our Price Advantage scheme. More than half of our Christmas gifts this year are priced at £10 or under so that Boots can help people have fun and show lots of love without breaking the bank.
“Finally, I want to say a huge thank you to the 50,000 plus Boots family who have made this great performance happen.”
Notes for editors:
Boots UK Q4 financial and operational highlights:
- Comparable retail sales increased 15.2% in Q4 compared to the year-ago quarter, reflecting recovery in store transactions (up 20.8% versus Q4 21) – with notable market share gains in personal care (driven by suncare), and health and wellness, attributable to strong growth in OTC sales, and another strong performance in beauty
- Comparable Q4 pharmacy sales down 6.9% compared to year-ago quarter (owing to strong prior year comparatives where demand for Covid-19 services was very strong) but up 1.2% for FY22 [GW1]
- Boots.com, the UK’s number one most visited health and beauty website, delivered strong results with digital sales now accounting for 11% of Q4 retail sales (versus 6% pre-pandemic) and more than a quarter (26%) made through the App which now has 5.5 million active users
- Strong value initiatives to support customers:
- Price Advantage, which allows Boots Advantage Card holders access to instant lower prices on a range of products in store and online, bigger than ever before, including over 900 products per month
- Price Lock Promise announced in June as Boots froze the price of over 1,500 lines
- As customers switch to own label products, Boots Own Brand expanded its range to over 9,000 products (121 new lines added in Q4)
- Boots Advantage Card celebrated its 25th Birthday, with support for the milestone encouraging the greatest number of sign ups for three years – 500,000 customers in the last six month – taking the total active members to 15.1 million
- Multiple heatwaves and a return to travel led to a ‘two bottle summer’ with suncare category sales at Boots increasing by over 150% year on year and Boots own brand suncare line, Soltan, enjoyed its biggest sales week since 2013.
Additional operational highlights:
- Beauty: As the number one beauty destination in the UK, Boots offers a range of incredible brands and new instore experiences to bring customers the best beauty offering on the High Street and online.
- 15 new, big-name beauty brands introduced in Boots in Q4, including Amarni Beauty, REN, Elemis, Sol de Janeiro and Pattern Beauty
- New innovative menopause skincare ranges launched within No7 and Boots Own Brand – specifically formulated to target the visible skin changes experienced during perimenopause and menopause
- Healthcare: Boots continues to launch new services and propositions to modernise community pharmacy and deliver an accessible healthcare offering
- Boots Online Doctor has grown significantly since launch last year, now performing at scale with over 750,000 customers onboarded
- Continued investment in our own brand healthcare ranges, including launching Boots first own brand Erectile Dysfunction treatment containing active ingredient Sildenafil, and the UK's first treatment for thrush & BV in a single product
- First flu vaccinations underway for Winter 2022, with strongest ever demand for Winter Flu Jab Service, with over 350,000 appointments already booked
- 558 Boots stores now using the Dispensing Support Pharmacy – freeing up time for pharmacists to offer services and advice to customers
- Completed drone delivery of prescription medicines in the Isle of Wight, a first in the UK
- Boots.com: As the UK’s number one most visited health and beauty website, Boots is focused on enhancing its online and app platforms
- Significant upgrades made to the website, including a more streamlined checkout experience, new payment options and increased security through Multi-Factor-Authentication which was delivered seamlessly
- Expanded partnership with Deliveroo to 125 stores across the UK
Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer. Its mission is to be the first choice for health and beauty - caring for people, customers and communities everywhere.
With over 53,000 team members and over 2,200 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores, Boots serves its customer and patients’ wellbeing for life.
Boots is the UK’s number one beauty destination and largest pharmacy chain providing dispensing and essential healthcare services, and it offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of product offering including its innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle, Sleek MakeUP and YourGoodSkin. For over 170 years, 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 31 August 2022
 Comparisons are versus the year-ago quarter unless otherwise stated