Superdrug is to push its own-brand and exclusive ranges after reporting it has reduced its losses in its full-year accounts to December 26, 2009.
Superdrug chief executive Jeremy Seigal said: “Own-brand is working well for us but historically, around 20 years ago, it was a much bigger part of our business.
“We’re now on a journey to return those historical heights, while still ensuring we also carry good and exciting brands.”
Last month Superdrug launched a money-back guarantee, called 100% Happiness, across its own brands whereby customers can get a full refund if they are not happy with the product.
“We have some great own-brands but we’ve not shouted about them enough and this is showing our customers that we are confident about them,” said Seigal.
He said the retailer’s £1 own-brand range, Make Up Academy, is “the best-selling make-up range on the website” and is being rolled out to more stores.
Other new own-brand launches, such as a anti-ageing skincare product, will come in autumn, he revealed. Seigal is also working with Superdrug parent AS Watson to globally source products.
In the year, Superdrug reported
a pre-tax loss of £243,000 against a loss the year before of £7.4m. At an operating profit level it has pulled itself out of the red to report profit of £6m against a loss of £2.4m the previous year. Sales were flat at £1.1bn. Seigal would not comment on current trade but said he was “optimistic” for the year.
He said cost savings were made in the year by carrying less stock and liquidating slow-moving stock more quickly.
Seigal also said everything from utility bills to software was reviewed to find savings. In addition, some staff were given “less of a pay increase” to safeguard jobs.
Superdrug has also adopted a local approach to each store depending on customer needs.
Seigal said “one size doesn’t fit all” and that “in some locations we may have a larger fragrance area while in others we may have larger spaces for the basics”.