Superdrug sister retailer starts trawl for agencies

Savers, the health and beauty retailer owned by Superdrug’s holding company AS Watson Group, is understood to be looking for an advertising agency.

Savers was acquired by AS Watson, the retail arm of Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, owners of mobile phone network 3, in 2000. The chain, founded in 1988 in the North-east, has more than 300 outlets across England, Scotland and Wales.

AS Watson strategic planning and development manager Joey Wat, who is based at Superdrug, is thought to be heading the search for an agency. Superdrug uses Walsh Trott Chick Smith and Zenith Optimedia. AS Watson and Savers were unavailable for comment as Marketing Week went to press.

Savers aims to be the most competitively priced high street retailer of health and beauty products and household goods, according to the company website. The retailer also provides photo-processing services and sells fragrances.

Savers was AS Watson’s first acquisition in the UK market. In 2002 AS Watson bought Kruidvat of the Netherlands, then the owner of UK-based Superdrug, for ââ¬1.3bn (£898m). Since then AS Watson has been on a buying spree in Europe and is set to become the world’s largest health and beauty retailer, with more than 5,660 stores following its acquisition of France’s Marionnaud Parfumeries last month.

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