Pure Beauty

Rethinking value: How Superdrug became beauty's retailer of the people

By Amanda Pauley | Published: 9-Jan-2024

How the UK beauty retailer’s strategy for supporting shoppers during the cost of living crisis – from price cuts to tackling societal issues – has boosted business

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Price, value and promotion have been crucial pillars in Superdrug’s business strategy over the past few years, helping to position the beauty retailer as an ally to consumers during the cost of living crisis

Ranging from price freezes and cuts to partnering with poverty activist Jack Monroe and deals expert Chloe Carmichael on financial-focused campaigns, these are not one-off stunts to win favour.

They are long term initiatives that are baked into the UK beauty retailer’s ongoing strategy to support the struggling shopper during economic uncertainty and rising inflation – and it is only strengthening Superdrug’s position in the market.

The company’s sales surged 17% in 2022 to £1.3m thanks to this cost of living business strategy, resulting in an improved store footfall in city centres, popular demand for own-brand products and a strong Christmas period.

“We know customers have really felt the pinch and everything we read suggests that the situation we are in right now is going to remain for the next couple of years,” Superdrug’s Own Brand Director Jamie Archer told Cosmetics Business

“Our brand DNA is about accessibility – blending the quality that customers expect while also being known for value. 

“It is really about being customer-first without any compromise. 

“And over the past couple of years I think customers have really seen us doing these things with these big initiatives, and have voted with their feet.”

Superdrug cut the price of its own-brand sun care line Solait by 20%, deeming it a

Superdrug cut the price of its own-brand sun care line Solait by 20%, deeming it a "healthcare essential"

Increasing market position

New data only hammers home the impact of these financial-focused initiatives, with Archer stating that footfall, particularly in Superdrug’s retail parks stores, has “grown exponentially” in the past year. 

When Superdrug slashed the price of its own-brand sun care range Solait by 20% in May 2023 in a bid to make sun safety accessible for everyone, sales for the collection increased 24% and have stayed steady since. 

“We saw our biggest switch of customers

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