Boots UK is to update its technology and ramp up marketing plans for its Treat Street online operation, which allows its customers to collect Advantage Card points when shopping at other retailers.
Health and beauty chief executive Alex Gourlay said he was “encouraged by the customer response” to Treat Street, which launched in October, and was implementing a new system to make it easier to use.
“We’re confident in the model but we need to do a bit more work on the technology,” said Gourlay. He added that Boots would start marketing the scheme in stores and via direct mail, with a major push in time for next Christmas.
Treat Street operates at Treatstreet.boots.com and allows customers to shop at about 50 other companies and pick up points. The site tracks purchases to retailers including Asos, HMV and Mothercare and gives customers at least one point for every £1 they spend.
Boots UK reported like-for-like sales up 3.8% in December, with fragrances, beauty, electricals and healthcare performing well. For the three months to December 31, UK like-for-likes were up 2.8% including VAT, and like-for-like dispensing volume up 3.1%.
For the quarter, total sales in health and beauty (including Boots Opticians and its non-UK health and beauty businesses) were up 1.4% excluding VAT.
Gourlay said Boots had performed well and “got the stock to the shelves” despite the bad weather. He said: “Our customer feedback showed they were very appreciative that we managed to deliver medication and healthcare despite the snow, so being there for customers really helped keep them loyal.”
He said “more trusted and established brands” performed well over Christmas and customers will continue to “spend wisely on quality” this year.
Parent Alliance Boots reported sales for the quarter up 14.3%. Sales in its pharmaceutical division were up 24.4%.