Savers is part of AS Watson’s UK operations, alongside health and beauty retailer Superdrug and fragrance specialist The Perfume Shop. AS Watson is the retail arm of conglomerate CK Hutchison, which also operates the mobile network Three.

Savers’ value-for-money approach has chimed with consumers in recent years and it has been one of the UK’s most buoyant health and beauty retailers. Following a challenging 2020 pandemic-hit financial year, sales returned to growth, increasing 5.8% to £567.2m in 2021, although operating margin continued to decline for the third-year running due to cost inflation across operations.

Growth has been driven by an ambitious store opening programme, with almost 520 outlets now established across the UK. Savers is also benefiting from the ongoing conversion of a significant number of Superdrug stores to its more discount-led format. It is also continuing to invest in existing stores through an ongoing refurbishment programme.

As a discount-led business, Savers has struggled to come up with a viable online operation, only launching a limited transactional site in mid-2019. The focus is now on extending the online offer and making the transition to a fully multichannel business.

Innovation rating: 2

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