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Boots announces plans to revamp its pharmacy business and digitalises its Advantage Card loyalty scheme.

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Boots UK has reported a revenue decline of -2.3% to £6.7bn for the year ending 31st August 2018, in the latest report submitted to Companies House.

FY2018: decline in revenue, operating profit, loyalty members

Boots UK has reported a revenue decline of -2.3% to £6.79bn for the year ending 31st August 2018. In the same period, operating profit fell by -22.3% to £391mn. The retailer has attributed the poor performance to increased retail competition and challenges to its pharmacy business due to governmental changes and minimising of drug prices.

Boots had just one net store closure in the period, operating an estate of 2,845 stores.

Boots loyalty programme is historically a key asset of the business, but the number of active Advantage Card members also fell from 14.6mn to 14.4mn. The retailer has recently made its loyalty scheme available on its mobile app, making it more convenient for loyalty card holds to earn and spend points.

The news marks another disappointing set of results for the health and beauty specialist. Boots also reported a decline in revenue in FY2017, where the retailer experienced a revenue decline of -0.6% to £6.8bn and a -2.5% fall in operating profit to £503m.

Negative LFLs have continued into the new financial year. Last month Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) reported that for Boots UK, LFL sales in pharmacy dropped -1.5% and for the retail division LFL sales were down -2.3% for Q2 2019.

Outlook: transformation plans

The retailer has outlined plans to transform its business, with a focus on its boosting its beauty proposition.

Boots is working hard to revamp its beauty business, transforming the in-store experience, investing in the range and opening new beauty-first flagship stores.

The retailer has also made a series of changes to its senior leadership team, both within the wider WBA business and for Boots UK.

The new recruits at Boots include Rich Corbridge and Adam Zavalis, who have been challenged with driving innovation for the business and transforming perceptions of the Boots brand.

Boots has also outlined plans to take steps to cut costs and subsequently warned over closures of poor performing stores.


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Boots is set to add global beauty brand, Fenty Beauty, to its product range.

Boosting the beauty range

Boots has announced that it is set to add Rihanna’s global beauty brand, Fenty Beauty, to its range.

The brand was only previously available to UK shoppers through Harvey Nichols.

The line will be available in 32 select stores and online via A waiting list is available online, allowing loyal fans early access to the range.

The move forms part of the retailer’s wider beauty transformation programme designed to modernise the Boots offer.

The retailer is improving its beauty range portfolio, with focus on introduction of on-trend beauty brands to its stores.

Seb James, senior vice president and managing director for Boots, commented on the move, “Launching Fenty Beauty is a pivotal moment in our beauty reinvention as we reimagine & redefine what to expect from high street beauty.”

“Over the next 6 months we’re launching 20+ new brands to become the top destination for global cult beauty.”

Trending on social media

The news trended on social media, boosting shopper perceptions of Boots as a specialist in beauty.

Rihanna, who has over 70mn instagram followers and 90mn twitter followers, announced the news herself on both channels. 

The hashtag #FENTYBEAUTYxBOOTS was also popular across social channels, with 152 instagram posts using the hashtag in the four days since the news launched.

The launch will help to bring Boots in line with beauty specialist retailers such as Sephora and UK-based department store Harvey Nichols, which also stock the range.


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Retail Analysis subscribers can read and download our latest news on Walgreens Boots Alliance here.

Boots will sponsor Women of the Year's 'Wellness Warrior' award, recruits new director of innovation and opens first of new format stores in Lincoln.

Wellness Warrior: celebrating women

Boots UK will sponsor the Women of the Year's 'Wellness Warrior' award, designed to recognise those who improve the wellbeing of others.

The annual awards aim to bring people together to celebrate achievements made by women across different industries.

Boots is encouraging shoppers to nominate someone who they think has made a difference to the wellness of others. Voting is open from 1st May - 19th June and entries can be made via or Boots Health & Beauty digital magazine.

The move aligns with Boots' 'Look good, feel better' sentiment, and follows its sponsorship of Women's Football Associations in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Boots UK managing director Helen Normoyle commented on the move, "Boots has always had a strong heritage of supporting and celebrating real women and the Women of the Year ethos is closely aligned to ours – celebrating these women for who they are and honouring their achievements. We can’t wait to share the inspirational stories and would love you to nominate those that make a real difference.”

Lincoln opening: showcasing new strategy

In April, the retailer unveiled the first of its 24 planned beauty-focused stores in Lincoln.

The flagship store demonstrates its revised strategy in beauty which it showcased at at Glamour Festival 2019. This is designed to modernise the beauty offer and boost Boots' relevance in the beauty market.

Boots Lincolnshire Clarins
Source: Boots

The refreshed offer includes a number of new brands such as Stila, Tom Ford and IT Cosmetics. Beauty brand specialists are on hand to offer advice and answer questions.

Boots Lincolnshire Benefit
Source: Boots

The retailer has removed its traditional counters and replaced them with  zones, including 'trending zones', 'discovery areas' and live demonstration areas.

Richard Burghart, Area Manager, Boots UK, said: “Boots has been in Lincoln for 135 years and this new store brings to life our new vision for beauty at Boots, as part of our exciting plans to develop our stores to meet the changing needs of customers today."

Boots appoints new director of innovation

According to Essential Retail, Boots has recruited Rich Corbridge to take up the role of director of innovation, responsible for overseeing Boots' transformation plans.

The move follows a series of senior level appointments at both Boots and in the wider Walgreens Boots Alliance business.

Colbridge brings a wealth of experience to the role, having spent several years carrying out leadership roles in healthcare. He joins the business from Leeds Teaching NHS Trust where he acted as chief digital and information officer. 


Want to know more?

Retail Analysis subscribers can read and downlonad our latest insight on Walgreens Boots Alliance here.


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