Despite posting strong sales over the latest quarter, British health and beauty retail chain intends to continue cutting store numbers in the UK. Boots has announced plans to close a further 300 stores across the UK in the next year. This will result in 1,900 branches left across the UK from a base of 2,200, however Boots does not plan redundancies as staff will be offered work at nearby stores.
“In addition to uplifting existing stores, over the next year Boots will continue to consolidate a number of stores in close proximity to each other. Evolving the store estate in this way allows Boots to concentrate its team members where they are needed and focus investment more acutely in individual stores with the ambition of consistently delivering an excellent and reliable service in a fresh and up to date environment,” said the retailer in a statement.
During the three months ended 31 May 2023, Boots’ retail sales grew by 13.4%. The retailer said it represents its ninth consecutive quarter of market share growth with gains across all categories, led by beauty.
Indeed, beauty sales were up over 18% year on year, led by skincare and May saw the biggest week for the category outside of Christmas.
City centre flagship and travel stores saw the biggest increase, while digital sales also continued to grow, up 25.2% year on year.
Overall, e-commerce is a very dynamic channel for beauty products in the United Kingdom and the phenomenon has only increased since the pandemic. A trend that probably explains the retailer’s desire to close its less profitable stores in the country.
"Our focus on offering our customers the best in healthcare and beauty, together with a continued commitment to great value, has been well received, and it is lovely to see more people choosing to shop with Boots. It is particularly pleasing to see our owned brands proving popular, including an exceptional No7 performance,” said Seb James, Managing Director, Boots UK and ROI.