Boots says Black Friday delivered its “biggest ever day” of sales across its digital platforms. Its website – boots.com – and its app proved popular channels for sales across the entirety of November, with the website also achieving its biggest-ever month of sales.
Digital sales now make up almost a fifth (19.2%) of total retail sales: boots.com’s sales grew 17.5% year on year, while the Boots app now has 7.2 million active users as of 30 November.
Seb James, managing director of Boots UK and ROI, says: “I am very encouraged by the way in which people are responding to the changes that we have made, especially in our digital and beauty businesses.” The brand states that the “record-breaking Black Friday” delivered the biggest ever day of online and app sales in its history.
The brand has been investing in its digital capabilities since the pandemic, noting in June 2022 that it was building out “an increasingly powerful online presence”.
At the same time, the retailer has been investing heavily in brand marketing, which its CMO Pete Markey has said will boost performance across the entire business. “When we invest behind the brand, all the other metrics improve. Paid search, digital and the cost per sales improve as we drive that top line awareness of the brand and consideration of Boots.”
After launching its first brand campaign searches for Boots increased 15%, for example.
In-store sales growth
In addition to the digital growth Boots has seen over the last quarter, it has also recorded footfall and sales increases in its retail stores. During Black Friday week sales in its stores rose 7% driven largely by electrical beauty, skincare and premium beauty categories.
In a call to investors discussing Boots’ results along with the performance of the wider Walgreen Boots Alliance business, Manmohan Mahajan, interim global CFO for the Walgreens Boots Alliance, said: “[Boots’] retail sales increased 9.8% with growth across all categories led by beauty and health and wellness. We also saw a year-on-year growth across all store formats, with flagship and travel locations performing particularly well.”
This led to the 11th consecutive quarter of market share growth for the brand, driven in particular by beauty.
Beauty sales were up 11.4% for the quarter, which it attributes to consumers’ focus on value, creating demand for Boots’ own brand products. It specifically calls out its own label skincare and healthcare products as driving that demand.
Last year the brand expanded its Boots Everyday own brand range further, with new products including vitamins and skincare.
The brand also specifically cites the No7 range of beauty products as being successful over the quarter. Over the quarter sales of No7 products grew over 13%. The range was spun out of the Boots brand to become a standalone brand in April 2021 as a result of a belief it had strong equity in its own right.
While Christmas results are not included in the most recent results, Boots says early indications suggest a strong festive period, with sales from Black Friday week until New Year set to beat last year’s performance.