Following today’s release of Boots figures for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020/21; Juliet Cuell, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, gives her perspective: âBoots’ performance in the fourth quarter highlights its continued steps towards recovery. impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as comparable retail sales increased 15.0%. While the health and beauty specialist reported comparable third-quarter retail sales growth (+ 38.7%) as it benefited from the initial rebound in footfall as restrictions eased, the fourth-trimester attendance remained below pre-COVID-19 levels, inhibiting growth. Comparable sales at the retailer’s pharmacies also rose 11.4%, helped by demand for its post-travel testing service as overseas travel became more accessible to UK consumers.
âAs consumers shifted their spending for health and beauty online during the height of the pandemic, Boots’ new marketing campaign focused on its premium line of beauty products is a good way to encourage the shift in consumer spending. spending towards stores, by raising awareness of its 30 new beauty institutes which should be completed in 2022, and its beauty range which has grown considerably in 2020. Nevertheless, there are clear areas for improvement for the specialist in health and beauty and Boots should offer a more interactive customer experience in these beauty institutes, such as makeup masterclasses or wellness information sessions to compete with clothing specialists like Flannels who will offer a service concierge services in its beauty institutes which will open next year and the enhanced beauty offer of Next. While its marketing strategy and beauty salons are focused on its premium proposition, Boots should not lose sight of its more economical offering, Boots having lost the grocers during the pandemic. It should continue to offer initiatives such as double points on its Advantage card program to foster customer loyalty and compete with supermarkets as they appeal to the price-conscious consumer.
Boots.com said its sales grew 54.0% in this fiscal year and in August 2021 Boots.com launched a trial partnership with Deliveroo in 14 stores that will increase demand for its online services . If this proves successful, Boots should leverage its extensive store network to compete with grocers such as Co-op who carry health products such as cold remedies, for delivery through Deliveroo and Gorillas, which deliver in as little as six minutes in parts of London. . “