A health and beauty sector marriage may be on the horizon as Superdrug’s parent company eyes a bid for Holland & Barrett.

AS Watson, which owns Superdrug, The Perfume Shop and Savers in the UK and runs a sizeable international portfolio of beauty retailers, is understood to be considering adding Holland & Barrett to its arsenal.

It’s easy to see why the upmarket health retailer may have piqued AS Watson’s interest – Holland & Barrett has consistent UK sales and profit growth and is expanding its presence in the Europe and Asia.

The specialist retailer also has an unrivalled reach in the health food and supplement market, which looks set to grow rapidly as the gluten-free, protein shake drinking shopper becomes more commonplace.

However, there are lessons that Holland & Barrett could learn from AS Watson’s suite of retailers, be it through the success of Superdrug’s loyalty scheme or The Perfume Shop’s next-day delivery.

Whether AS Watson will make a formal offer for the retailer is not yet confirmed but, if they did, it looks like it could be a win-win for the health and beauty market.

Also today, former Asda executive Stuart Machin was appointed chief executive of Harveys and Benson for Beds boss and Farfetch teamed up with Chinese ecommerce giant JD.com.

Today in numbers


The price tag that Holland & Barrett is expected to attract in a sale by owner NBTY


The amount that JD.com has invested in Farfetch, making it one of the retailer’s biggest shareholders

Friday’s agenda

There are no formal updates scheduled for tomorrow but look out for analysis on the impact of Brexit on retail on the one-year anniversary of the referendum result

Grace Bowden, reporter