LloydsPharmacy has credited their omnichannel approach for booming pre-Christmas sales.

Online sales were up 26% with Click & Collect continuing to build at a pace with a 195% increase in December compared to the previous year.

In the bricks and mortar estate, gifting grew by 18% year-on-year while fragrance was up 4%.

Knowledgeable pharmacists were also applauded for offering expert pain management that saw sales in that area increase by 5%.

Cormac Tobin, who heads up LloydsPharmacy as managing director for Celesio UK, said the figures demonstrated that the omnichannel approach – offering both online and physical stores - was resonating with customers.

“We’ve been developing our offer over the past couple of years and taking the time to intimately understand our customers’ needs and desires.

“Going forward we’ll continue to innovate and evolve to make it even easier for people to manage their health and wellbeing,” he said.

“What this Christmas has shown the retail sector is that consumer behaviour has fundamentally changed.”

Tobin explained that a combination of empowering customers by offering additional digital shopping and additional promotional activity are the “two key forces” driving change in the retail sector.

“Town centre shopping is now more about the social experience with key items being bought online.

“Retailers need to adapt and offer an in-store experience that assaults customers’ senses and seamlessly links the digital and physical worlds,” he said.

LloydsPharmacy employs over 17,000 staff and dispenses more than 150 million prescription items annually.