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Boots sales rebound after lockdown restrictions eased

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Sales through Boots’ online business had doubled against pre-pandemic levels (Matt Crossick/PA) (PA Wire)
Sales through Boots’ online business had doubled against pre-pandemic levels (Matt Crossick/PA) (PA Wire)

Boots has hailed a “transformational year” as the pharmacy highlighted a sales rebound after the further relaxation in lockdown measures.

Owner Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) said it exceeded expectations over the final quarter of its financial year to August 31 as a result.

The global pharmacy giant said like-for-like sales increased by 12.8% to 34.3 billion US dollars (£25 billion) for the period.

WBA highlighted that it benefited from a strong operational performance from Boots, with growth for both its retail and pharmacy arms.

Boots’ managing director Sebastian James said sales through its online business had doubled against pre-pandemic levels, with the firm maintaining this growth despite returning high street footfall.

He added that growth in both healthcare and beauty meant the retailer was “now ideally placed to seize new opportunities” in the new financial year.

Boots saw like-for-like retail sales rise 15% in the latest quarter against the same period in 2020.

Meanwhile, its like-for-like pharmacy sales increased by 11.4% against a year earlier.

We have responded to the fundamental and permanent shifts in both the retail and healthcare landscapes with a significant transformation of our business

Sebastian James, Boots managing director

The company said it had started its winter flu vaccinations for the year and was expecting to administer three times more vaccinations than last year on the back of the pandemic.

Mr James said: “We have responded to the fundamental and permanent shifts in both the retail and healthcare landscapes with a significant transformation of our business, introducing new products and services and investing in our digital capability and store portfolio.

“We are furthering our position as the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer and it is pleasing to see both our sales and market share growing.

“The success of our transformation is reflected in our strong performance, led by an expanding beauty offering, new healthcare services and investment in digital.

“Almost half of all beauty products in the UK are now purchased at Boots with our market share climbing to over 40%, and we have introduced over 100 new healthcare services in the last few months.”

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