The entrance of Sephora into the UK market earlier this year has seen domestic players like Boots, Space NK, and Superdrug all upping their game. This competition has created opportunities for brands and excitement for UK consumers. Circana data shows premium beauty sales increased 13.5% as of August, even as 87% of adults in the UKreported an increased cost of living.
One-third of Boots' customers purchased a haircare product in the last six months, driving the British retailer to double the haircare game by introducing a new premium and professional haircare category. Four hundred products, including Redken, L’Oréal Professionnel, Ouai, and Briogeo, will launch on its website through a new online haircare hub the will provide expert education and advice.
Boots Head of Beauty Reinvention Jenna Whittingham-Ward shared, “Our customers trust Boots, and know that we will only bring them brands and products that we truly believe in. The launch of 10 new premium and professional haircare brands means we’re making the most in-demand products even more accessible and giving our customers more choices across our extensive haircare offering."
Over the coming months, a curated assortment of brands will enter Boots’ top stores. The category expansion will be supported by adding brand-agnostic haircare associates to deliver a premium beauty experience in-store. The retailer has also partnered with hairdressers from Live True London to launch a salon-led retail space in its London Vauxhall store, combining a retail area and hair salon so customers can experientially trial products. Live True’s team will operate the salon, offering cuts, coloring, and styling treatments.
“Boots is uniquely placed to drive accessibility and availability of the most in-demand haircare products and advice, while also boosting recognition of the important role salon professionals play,” said Ward.
The premium haircare category has seen innovation driven by emerging brands fueling global growth. The global premium haircare market was valued at $21.26 billion in 2022 and is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 6.6% from 2023 to 2030.
This merchandising strategy sees the retailer expanding its beauty offering and growing its market share in the premium beauty category. Premium beauty stood out in fiscal Q4 2023 results, growing 20%, with skincare sales rising nearly 25%.
Whittingham-Ward continued, “We continue to innovate and transform our beauty offering at Boots and, with over 250,000 searches for premium haircare brands on Boots.com in the last 18 months, we knew this is what our customers wanted to see from us next.”
In June, Boots announced it would be optimizing its fleet of stores over the next 12 months in a move that will leave 1,900 Boots locations across the UK from a base of 2,200. The majority of stores slated to close are said to be within 5km of another Boots branch.
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