Boots has delivered strong UK sales growth of 16.3% for its first fiscal quarter ending 30 November 2021. Pharmacy sales increased by 8.8%, reflecting stronger demand for pharmacy services, and sales are up more than 200% year-on-year. Retail sales also increased by 16.3%, reflecting a recovery in footfall and strong commercial execution, with digital sales in the first quarter almost doubling compared to the equivalent quarter pre-Covid 19. Boots.com’s sales now account for more than 15% of total retail sales.
However, the brand’s owners are now looking to sell Boots and Asda’s owners are considering a multi-billion-pound takeover of the health and beauty retailer. Bain Capital and CVC Capital Partners are said to be also preparing a joint bid. An auction of Boots is set to start in the coming weeks with other grocery giants also expected to be interested in its vast network of stores.
Whoever acquires Boots will be making steps to:
1. Sort out Boots’ online offering. Even though sales last quarter doubled compared to their pre-pandemic levels, it was already at a very low base.
2. Improve how Boots uses Advantage card data to run promotions.
3. Extend investment in promising stores and upgrade beauty halls.
4. Put some more money behind Boots’ own brands, including No7 and Soap & Glory.
Are you able to help the new owners with these challenges? If so, ALF will keep you updated on who acquires Boots.