Pure Beauty

Boots announces major retail plan to open 30 new beauty halls

By Becky Bargh | Published: 1-Sep-2021

High street chain’s new outlets will be smaller versions of its reinvented beauty destinations

Boots, the UK’s largest beauty retailer, is investing in the future of Britain’s high streets with a roll out of 30 new beauty halls nationwide.

The new spaces are expected to be smaller versions of Boots’ reinvented shopping destinations, in which the retailer swapped out beauty counters for ‘trend zones’ in an attempt to attract a younger demographic.

Smaller towns, including Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire, Grantham in Lincolnshire and The Isle of Wight, will benefit from the new beauty outlets, taking Boots’ total reimagined store count to 90.

Inside, shoppers will be able to discover Boots’ growing brand portfolio, having added 65 new lines since the UK’s first lockdown in March 2020, and take part in in-store consultations.

Boots is also creating more than 100 new beauty specialist jobs by adding to its bricks-and-mortar entourage.

The Walgreens Boots Alliance-owned (WBA) retailer did however cut around 10% of its Nottingham, UK, workforce in March this year, in an effort to alleviate cash flow pressures brought on by the pandemic.

“We are so pleased to launch even more reinvented beauty halls on the UK high streets,” said Seb James, Boots’ Managing Director.

“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.

“As we now out of lockdown and life is starting to look more normal, I am confident that our beautiful new beauty halls will help to drive more footfall into Boots, as well as local high streets more broadly.”

Boots had proven a problem child for its parent company, with disappointing sales throughout the pandemic, despite being allowed to remain open as an essential retailer.

For FY2020 the high street chain reported a 29% downturn in sales.

Meanwhile, trading for FY2021 did not get off to a flying start with Q1 sales impacted by the re-introduction of tighter restrictions in many parts of the UK in November and December, during the busy Christmas trading period.

By Q3 this year, however, comparable sales for the high street stalwart were up almost 40%, compared with the same three months in 2020, triggering WBA to raise its guidance to around 10% growth for the remainder of 2021.

Boots’ market share for premium make-up and skin care products is also said to be at a record high thanks to introductions from celebrity beauty brands including Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty.

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