As UK consumers prepare to celebrate the first Christmas post-recession, health and beauty retailer Boots has taken the opportunity to launch its biggest Christmas campaign ever.
Working in direct conjunction with customer feedback from last year’s festivities, Boots has enhanced its Christmas experience by adding premium gifts to its range and transforming in-store merchandising. Customer comments after last year’s Christmas placed Boots’ in store experience in line with grocers, now a faraway thought from the retailer’s new visual merchandising concepts which see the focus on the products. Rather than being stacked high, gifts are being displayed in limited numbers or tiered on plinths.
According to Mike Bradshaw, director of in-store marketing at Boots, 23% of customers will have finished their Xmas shopping by mid-October. The yearly gift guide is highly sought after by these consumers, which Bradshaw described as “military planners”. The no.7 range, new collaborations with preppy fashion brand Jack Wills and a high-end own-brand, Florence Anne (named after the founder’s wife) all part of Boots Christmas 2014 – will surely be welcomed by Boots’ loyal customer base.
Boots has used statistics from last Christmas to influence decisions for this year’s marketing strategy. In December 2013, a fragrance was sold every 6 seconds in all Boots stores. This season, as part of a partnership with Dior, advantage card holders will be able to have perfume bottles personalized at customer evenings in selected stores, a service exclusive to Boots and one that will only take 5 minutes.
Planning for the ‘because they’re special’ campaign started a year ago but the unprecedented scale of operations was condensed from an 18month action plan into a 9 month one. This will more than likely benefit Boots as Christmas shoppers this year are buying already and spending more.
Special attention has also been paid to the website, with a new ‘gift advisor’ tool soon available to offer suggestions on what to buy. The UK retailer’s click and collect service is the fastest-growing part of its business, especially as 80% of the population live within 10 minutes of a Boots. Now customers can shop up until 6 pm in and still be able to collect purchases the next day from 12 pm.
The Christmas concepts are launching today in 24 stores, before a wider roll-out over the next week. The anticipated gift guide will be available from October 1st.