Superdrug has unveiled its new high-end beauty store format, which combines retail with a raft of express beauty treatments.

The health and beauty retailer has opened the new format in Cardiff’s St David’s centre called the Beauty Studio by Superdrug.

It sells high-end brands that are not sold in Superdrug’s standard format stores, which surround a core beauty services offer, as Superdrug aims to make beauty services more accessible and affordable.

Superdrug marketing director Matt Walburn said: “Superdrug wanted to do something that specialised in beauty and had the credibility of Superdrug but that was totally new. No-one else offers this accessibility of service.

“We want it to be seamless between service with products, so you can pick a hair dye off the shelf and have it put on in the hair salon.”

Beauty Studio offers customers a range of treatments such as manicures, makeovers, threading, ear-piercing and hair styling with its new hair salon, Hair Space. Treatments are designed to be affordable, starting from £5, and accessible, so there is no need to book.

Walburn added the new format is a “step-change” for Superdrug, because it has enabled it to attract brands, such as Marc Jacobs, Dolce & Gabbana and Prada, across its fragrance offer as well as more premium and exclusive beauty brands, such as Make Up Revolution and Love Your Skin.

He said: “The value element is still there because we still stock products here that we have in Superdrug stores. This is a new string to our bow.”

The store also features a number of digital elements, with screens installed at the end of the aisles to display product videos, an interactive mirror which enables customers to try out different hair style and colours and a large interactive screen where customers can take ‘selfies’ and share them on social media websites.

Walburn added that elements of the beauty studio may be rolled out to Superdrug’s standard stores.

He said that if the format is a success Superdrug could open up to 50 Beauty Studio stores in the UK which could be positioned in close proximity to existing Superdrug stores.

“We think the two can exist side-by-side because the range is very different and we think any cannibalisation of sales will be minimal,” he added.

Walburn said it chose Cardiff over London, to give the format “natural credibility” due to London’s uniquely strong retail proposition. Superdrug also aims to tap into the hen and stag parties that regularly visit the Welsh Capital.

The new format follows a new standalone well-being concept which launched in Banbury in May.

Superdrug also relaunched its website yesterday on the new Hybris platform. The website has a new design and customers can now redeem Beauty Card loyalty points online. Superdrug is also scheduled to launch its first optimised mobile site at the end of the month.

Superdrug returned to profit in the year to December 28, 2013, posting pre-tax profit up from £4m loss to a £29m profit, according to documents filed at Companies House.

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