Boots UK reports 17.9% slump in retail sales
Retail sales at Boots took another hit over the second quarter of the year as Covid-19 restrictions continued to stifle footfall on major highstreets, train stations and airports.
In a setback from the recovery in footfall trends seen in early autumn, retail like for like sales at Boots UK fell by 17.9% in the quarter to 28 February, according to the Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA).
Online sales via Boots.com continued to perform “very strongly” over the period, with sales up 105% compared with the year-ago quarter - partially offsetting the reduced footfall, WBA said.
Boots UK also continued to gain beauty category market share over the period, however pandemic restrictions had impacted on “all other categories, reflecting the shift in buying habits to one-stop grocery shopping,” it added.
Gross profit decreased 9.2% compared with the same quarter a year ago, including a favourable currency impact of 4.2%.
Adjusted gross profit decreased 13.4% on a constant currency basis reflecting lower UK retail sales and pharmacy volumes, partly offset by the favourable timing of NHS reimbursement and by incremental gross profit associated with its new joint venture in Germany.
Working closely with the NHS, Boots UK has supported more than 2.6 million Covid-19 tests at 66 sites and has launched 25 major vaccination hubs at Boots stores.