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Source: Boots

Christmas trading was helped by an uptick in cold and immunity lines

Boots has reported “very strong” Christmas trading, with retail sales up 15% year on year in December.

Key categories including gifting, beauty and fragrance performed “extremely well”, alongside an uptick in cold and immunity lines.

The health and beauty retailer has also posted a trading update for its first quarter to 30 November 2022, in which comparable like-for-like retail sales were up 8.7%, against tough comparisons in the same quarter a year earlier, which saw 16.3% growth.

Store footfall continued its post-Covid recovery, with in-store transactions up 8% as city centres and travel hubs benefited from a return to the office and tourism. sales were double pre-pandemic levels, accounting for 18% or total sales in the quarter. Black Friday delivered the biggest digital sales day ever for the retailer, while store sales were also up, by 13%. Paco Rabanne Fragrance and No7 Beauty Collection were among the top sellers driving the record performance.

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The Boots app saw 26% growth to represent over a quarter of digital sales.

Boots said a focus on affordable essentials also continued to be a significant driver of growth. Its Everyday Essentials range, with products priced at £1.50 or under, saw sales grow 35%.

“It has been another positive quarter for Boots,” said UK & ROI MD Sebastian James.

“Our focus on giving customers our best ever value to help with cost of living pressures, as well as continued investment in our digital capability and in updating our store estate, has resulted in increased retail sales and market share growth for the seventh consecutive quarter.

“Our Black Friday and Christmas performance was particularly pleasing and I would like to thank the teams for their huge efforts in bringing our customers genuinely fantastic offers.”