Superdrug has added 30 products to its Price Freeze Promise after its research reveals 80% of its customers are having to switch to cheaper brands.
The health and beauty retailer has now committed to holding the price of 130 own brand essentials across personal care, beauty and healthcare for at least a year.
At the same time, Superdrug is launching a campaign in partnership with poverty campaigner Jack Monroe to help customers navigate the cost of living crisis.
Through the ‘Shop Smart’ campaign the retailer aims to offer customers tips to help keep costs down, all the more important, it says, as hygiene poverty is rising at an “alarming rate”.
Just like energy costs and food bills, the price of toiletries and personal care essentials are “rising steeply”, says Monroe, leaving many unable to afford things like soap, tampons, deodorant, shampoo and toothpaste.
“It’s embarrassing to not be able to afford things that others might take for granted… [and it’s] fast becoming a hidden impact of the cost of living crisis,” she adds.
We don’t believe shoppers should have to compromise when it comes to their health and beauty purchases.
Simon Comins, Superdrug
Data from YouGov released today supports this, with nearly a third of Brits saying they’ve had to cut back or stop buying household essentials like toilet roll and cleaning products (29%) over the past six months. One in five within this group has switched to a cheaper alternative, which supports Superdrug’s own research.
This finding is also backed up by research from BritainThinks shared exclusively with Marketing Week earlier this month. It shows 38% of shoppers have already started to swap their tried and trusted brands for supermarket value ranges or cheaper alternatives. A further 19% say they will ‘definitely’ do this as the year progresses, and another 28% will consider it.
To help those in need Superdrug has introduced a ‘Buy One, Bank One’ scheme as part of its partnership with Beauty Banks. The retailer has worked with the charity for the past four years and has more than 100 donation bins across its stores nationwide. As part of the new scheme it is encouraging people to increase donations as demand is rising steeply in line with the cost of living.
Beauty Banks co-founder Jo Jones says: “As hygiene poverty affects young and old in neighbourhoods, schools and workplaces around the UK, Beauty Banks is fighting to make sure everyone has access to essential toiletries.
“The current cost of living crisis has only made a serious situation even more critical and so we’re fully behind Jack and Superdrug in the Shop Smart campaign to raise awareness and help to alleviate the impact of a distressing economic situation on those most in need”.
Support for employees
Superdrug is also launching a series of initiatives for employees to help them tackle price rises. Employees will receive a minimum of 30% off own brand items and 10% off branded goods, as well as other discounts.
It is also moving fuel reimbursement above the HMRC advisory rate and the taxable element will be covered, to better support those who travel for work. Superdrug will be offering teams webinars in areas such as pensions, budgeting and financial wellbeing too.
Superdrug’s chief commercial officer, Simon Comins, says the company’s “vision has always been to make health and beauty accessible to all”.
“With rising cost of living, we wanted to act quickly to ensure our colleagues are well looked after and our customers well supported. We don’t believe shoppers should have to compromise when it comes to their health and beauty purchases.”
Superdrug is not alone is freezing prices. The big four supermarkets have all outlined cost cutting measures and pledged to support consumers in recent months. Both Tesco and Sainsbury’s have extended their Aldi Price Match initiatives, while Morrisons confirmed it was cutting prices on more than 500 products last month. Asda, meanwhile, is set to launch its new value range Just Essentials this month after investing £45m in the offer, which it claims is the largest in the market. It says it has been specifically designed to help “millions of families” manage rising living costs.