Boots, the renowned UK health and beauty retailer, is experiencing a robust rebound in the wake of the pandemic as it prepares for a potential sale. Recent reports indicate that the company’s sales in the quarter ending on February 28th surged by 15.2%, with like-for-like sales soaring by an impressive 22%. This remarkable growth can be attributed to various factors, including an upswing in foot traffic on the high street, a substantial increase in online sales, and particularly high demand in the beauty segment.

Boots witnessed an astounding 60% rise in online sales during the quarter compared to pre-Covid levels. These online sales accounted for 15% of the retailer’s overall sales. Moreover, store footfall witnessed a significant year-on-year uptick of 52%, and the average basket size grew by 15% compared to pre-Covid levels.

Sebastian James, the managing director of Boots UK & Republic of Ireland, expressed his enthusiasm about the company’s performance, affirming that Boots is making a strong comeback from the pandemic. He emphasized the steady growth in retail and pharmacy sales, as well as the market share gains across all product categories. James highlighted the company’s strategic focus on transforming beauty, healthcare, and digital offerings, highlighting the excellent progress made in the quarter. This progress included the successful adoption of new and existing healthcare services while maintaining a leading position in the rapidly expanding beauty category.

The positive trading performance of Boots naturally raises questions about how it will impact the potential sale of the business, which is currently under review by Walgreens Boots Alliance, Boots’ parent company. Several interested buyers have emerged in recent weeks, including US private equity firms Apollo and Sycamore partners, as well as the Issa brothers, who own Asda and are backed by TDR Capital. The strategic review is still ongoing, with final offers anticipated to be submitted around Easter. Initial offers received thus far value the chain at over £6 billion.

To sum up, Boots has demonstrated strong signs of recovery following the pandemic, with sales experiencing significant growth in the latest quarter. The company’s emphasis on transforming its beauty, healthcare, and digital offerings has played a pivotal role in its success. As the potential sale of Boots progresses, interested buyers are keeping a close eye on the positive performance of the business.

Useful links:
1. Boots Official Website
2. Forbes Article on Boots’ Recovery