Record beauty sales provide boost for Boots as shoppers splash out
Record beauty sales provide boost for Boots as shoppers splash out on more expensive products
Boots hailed a record-breaking start to the year for its beauty arm as shoppers splashed out on more expensive products.
The UK’s biggest chemist saw a surge in popularity of its own-label No7 as well as upmarket La Roche-Posay.
In addition to a record in January, the premium end of its beauty range saw its biggest ever week of sales in December amid a pre-Christmas rush.
Boots said its beauty arm was a ‘standout performer’ in the three months to February 28. Overall sales at the High Street giant, with 2,200 stores across the UK, were 16pc higher than the same quarter last year.
Sales boost: Boots, which is the UK’s biggest chemist, saw a surge in popularity of its own-label No7 as well as upmarket La Roche-Posay
Boots was also buoyed by the ongoing recovery on the High Street, with the number of shoppers in stores across the quarter 16 per cent higher than a year ago.
And the retailer posted a strong performance online, with digital sales climbing 17 per cent from last year.
The strong performance at Boots came as its American owner Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) – whose executive chairman is renowned Italian dealmaker Stefano Pessina – returned to the black for the quarter.
Profit at the group was £160million, compared with an £850million loss a year ago. But for the first half of its financial year, losses totalled around £5billion.
Its latest update comes after The Mail on Sunday revealed that investors and board members are pushing Pessina to speed up plans to refocus the group on the US.
They want Walgreens to separate its international businesses as soon as possible, industry experts said, viewing Boots and other operations in Europe as a ‘distraction’.
This could pave the way for Boots to return to the London Stock Exchange.
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