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Sep 1, 2021
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​Boots to beef up image of “hugely important” regional stores

Published
Sep 1, 2021

Despite the continuing growth of its e-commerce offer, the in-store experience “is still hugely important” to Boots, the UK health & beauty retail giant said Tuesday.


Boots


That’s why the retailer is improving its store status in a post-pandemic makeover that will initially see 30 units upgraded.

According to The Times newspaper, Boots is revamping regional stores by introducing beauty consultation areas and new brands including Drunk Elephant, MAC and Fenty Beauty, the already highly successful product range by the pop star Rihanna.

The 2,336-store business is also recruiting 100 ‘beauty specialists’ who can offer personalised make-up and skincare advice to customers who want to buy a variety of brands, in contrast to the department store model of using brands’ representatives.

As well as 700 beauty specialists employed across the business, Boots also has 830 Macmillan beauty advisors who give free tips to customers going through cancer treatment.

Boots managing director Sebastian James said: “While our online sales continue to grow, the in-store experience is still hugely important, which is why we have continued to invest in our new-look beauty halls throughout the pandemic and beyond. I am confident our beautiful new beauty halls will help to drive more footfall into Boots.” 

During the pandemic, Boots stores suffered a sharp decline in sales and profits. Although it kept stores open to provide access to its pharmacies, shoppers bought beauty products online, mostly from pureplay beauty websites. 

More than 4,000 jobs were lost last year and 48 of its opticians closed. Boots has also improved its delivery service and has since said online sales rose by 85% in the three months to the end of May, compared with the same period last year. Its market share for premium skincare and make-up is also at a record high.

Last month, the business also announced the test-launch of a delivery tie-up with Deliveroo and a separate website for its No7 beauty brand, fulfilled by The Hut Group’s logistics, in an effort to support its online growth.

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