Sainsbury's to increase beauty offer

Supermarkets giant Sainsbury’s is continuing to reinvent itself with a focus on non-grocery categories and will ramp up its beauty offer with more of a department store-style approach.


Beauty is a key category for Sainsbury's and it's going to make its offer more department store-like


The company, whose purchase of Argos and Habitat transformed it from a traditional supermarket retailer into a more broadly-spread one, is to test beauty aisles with specialist staff in 11 stores across Britain.

The UK beauty market is worth £2.8 billion and while supermarkets are significant players, they’re seen as places to just pick up and buy, rather than to get advice and expertise.

The move will see the Sainsbury’s beauty offer doubling in size to 3,000 products and including brands on its shelves that it hasn’t stocked before, such as Revlon, Essie, Tweezerman and Dr. PawPaw. It will also devote more space to L’Oréal, Maybelline and Burt’s Bees and will have branded areas, the Guardian reported.

It also said the new approach to beauty will see the relaunch of its Boutique line so it’s suitable for the growing number of vegan consumers. Meanwhile, to boost its fragrance operations, it has just opened a test Fragrance Shop concession in its Croydon store, with another due to open in Birmingham later this year. And it will have a stronger premium skincare offer via a deal with Lloyds Pharmacy (to which it sold its own pharmacy chain a few years ago). It will be testing an extended range of higher-end skincare brands including La Roche-Posay and Vichy in four stores too.

CEO Mike Coupe said as long ago as 2016 that the company wanted to have a more department store-like feel as it faced up to low-cost competition from chains such as Lidl and Aldi. And its Mini Habitat concessions and Argos operations in its supermarkets have helped advance this aim. But it’s overall own-brand offer has also been displayed in less-supermarket-like environments in recent periods and the beauty initiative will add to this.

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