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Boots Plans Online Market for Beauty Brands in Digital Overhaul

The 173 year-old retailer will stock third-party brands online from next spring, Boots said in a statement Tuesday.
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. has begun a strategic review of its Boots drugstore business, chief executive officer Rosalind Brewer said.
Boots plans to start a new online marketplace for health and beauty products to upgrade the UK drugstore chain’s web offering amid increasing competition. (Shutterstock)

Boots plans to start a new online marketplace for health and beauty products to upgrade the UK drugstore chain’s web offering amid increasing competition.

The 173 year-old retailer will stock third-party brands online from next spring, Boots said in a statement Tuesday. With plans to stock hundreds of entrepreneurial brands, the company will be taking on the likes of THG Plc, whose Lookfantastic and Cult Beauty are already established in the online beauty domain. The site will be open to large and small brands alike.

The plan is to be first to market with emerging products, said Paula Bobbett, chief digital officer at Boots.

Boots owner US health-care group Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. abandoned plans to sell the retailer in June after failing to secure a bid for the desired sum of at least $6 billion. The chain has been battling to compete on main streets in the UK, with many of its large stores in need of renovation. Despite investment, its digital platform is still considered to be behind some rivals.

Boots currently has a website that sells some brands, which it says is the most-visited health and beauty website in the UK. The new marketplace would be much broader, offering more products spanning health, beauty, baby and wellness.

The company is following a model already used by Next Plc and Asos Plc, which stock fashion from third parties and boutiques.

Learn more:

Walgreens Shelves Pharmacy Boots’ Sale as Market Turmoil Hits Dealmaking

Walgreens Boots Alliance scrapped the plan to sell its UK high street pharmacy chain, Boots, saying no third party was able to make an adequate offer due to the turmoil in global financial markets.

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