Boots No7 is one of the most famous skincare brands in the world. But the UK’s number one skincare brand has had a long history of stops and starts in its quest for international expansion.

Founded in 1935, the brand first arrived in Australia in the mid-1960s, as it rolled out in 26 international markets. It’s been back a few times since and yo-yo’d in the New Zealand market in 1993 and 2009 before withdrawing again.

Australia and New Zealand aren’t alone in being tough nuts to crack. Boots No7 launched in the US in 2007 and re-launched in 2012. The pharmacy group also suffered a major setback in Japan in the mid-1990s.

Boots has also had a relationship with Sigma Pharmaceuticals for over six years and its Boots Laboratories skincare brand is sold through Amcal and Guardian pharmacies in Australia. Top sellers include the Serum 7 range, including Renew Recontouring Eye Serum, Lift Rejuvenating Night Cream and Restructuring Day Cream.

The UK stalwart is now part of Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), a global leader in retail pharmacy formed when the US pharmacy giant Walgreens bought a 45 per cent share in Boots in 2012, acquiring the remaining 55 per cent two years later.

Six years ago, WBA registered its trademark with IP Australia and was rumoured to have two goals in its sights – opening a Boots franchise network and gaining distribution for its health and beauty brands in Australia.

Little happened until earlier this year. In April, WBA set up a standalone business called the No7 Beauty Company to broaden its beauty portfolio’s appeal to the North American market and fast-track global expansion.

Several brands make up the No7 stable – No7, Liz Earle, Botanics, Soap & Glory, Sleek Makeup and YourGoodSkin.

The goal of the reorganisation was to expand beyond WBA’s 21, 000 shopfronts to join new retailers worldwide through their websites, bricks-and-mortar stores and mobile apps. Backed by the digital expertise, unrivalled first-party data from more than 100 million customers and marketing prowess of one of the world’s biggest pharmacy networks, the Australian re-launch of Boots No7 is bang on the money.

Skincare sales have boomed worldwide and in Australia during the Covid-19 pandemic, with serums enjoying double digit growth.

Consumers also expect more from their skincare choices and Boots No7 more than fits the bill. “What sets No7 apart is the level of scientific research and the proof that supports our products,” says Dr Mike Bell, Head of Science Research for No7 Beauty Company. “Specifically our world-famous serums have gone through rigorous clinical and consumer testing to validate their age defying performance with thousands of women involved in their testing, across 70 studies over the past 10 years.”

Few retailers are better positioned to springboard the global brand famous for sparking waitlists for its latest launches than Priceline Pharmacy.

Priceline Pharmacy sold more than 19 million units of skincare over the past year, with sales of serums increasing by 27 per cent. From last week, 28 Boots No7 products are available from more than 470 Priceline and Pharmacy stores nationwide. In October, the full range of 42 Boots No7 products will be rolled out across the retailer’s network.

The seven “super heroes” of the initial rollout currently available in Priceline stores are: Boots No7 Advanced Retinol 1.5% Complex Night Concentrate, HydraLuminous Water Concentrate, Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum, Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum, Restore & Renew Face & Neck Multi Action Serum, No 7 Laboratories Line Correcting Booster Serum and Dark Spot Corrector Booster Serum.

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