Health and beauty retailer Boots has acted over the sale of some of its No7 and Botanics lines in Poundland.

It emerged yesterday that the Boots products, including some still on sale in the pharmacist’s shops rather than end of line, were available in Poundland and B&M Bargains and new labels had simply been stuck over the originals.

The news was embarrassing for Boots because the products are sold for much higher prices in its shops than in Poundland.

Boots said: “Boots UK invests significantly in research and product development to ensure our products are made to the highest possible standards.

“Boots UK does not supply Poundland and B&M with stock. We occasionally have excess stock that has been produced for our international businesses, which cannot be sold in our UK stores.

“As a business with a strong sense of corporate social responsibility we prefer not to dispose of excess products through landfill or incineration. Therefore we sell these products at below cost price for sale overseas where we do not have stores – an option that is far better for the environment.

“We believe a small amount of this stock has been diverted into UK retailers and sold without our permission. We have now taken steps to ensure that the stock is no longer available through this route.”

Poundland said: “There is a bona fide relationship between Boots and our supplier to relabel the products after removing the original label.

“On this occasion a mistake occurred and we are working with our supplier to rectify the situation.”