Boots recorded an increase in sales in its fourth quarter as lockdown restrictions eased and demand for pharmacy services rose.

Boots’ owner Walgreen Boots Alliance reported like-for-like sales grew by 12.8% to reach £34.3bn in the quarter to August 31.

The retailer’s own sales also rose 15% year on year in the quarter as high street footfall recovered, though they remain below pre-pandemic levels.

Pharmacy sales also increased by 11.4% during the period. online sales surged in the year ended August 31, with overall digital sales rising 54%. Online sales in the fourth quarter alone more than doubled compared to pre-pandemic levels. 

Boots grew its market share during the quarter, which the retailer said was driven by its performance in beauty. Beauty accounted for 50% of sales on the retailer’s website during the period and the retailer said it accounts for almost one in every two beauty products sold in the UK. 

The retailer also introduced a trial partnership with Deliveroo and expanded its Online Doctor service during the period. 

Boots managing director Sebastian James said: “The success of our transformation is reflected in our strong performance, led by an expanding beauty offering, new healthcare services and investment in digital. Almost half of all beauty products in the UK are now purchased at Boots with our market share climbing to over 40%, and we have introduced over 100 new healthcare services in the last few months.

“ sales have more than doubled versus pre-Covid levels and we are maintaining that growth whilst at the same time welcoming customers back into stores, with footfall up around 35% compared with last year.”

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