In the nine weeks since UK prime minister Boris Johnson instituted a nationwide lockdown, Superdrug had seen an uplift in very specific beauty categories; far beyond essential health items like infant formula, nappies, over-the-counter medicines, hand wash and sanitiser.
Superdrug – which had largely stayed in operation because it was classified a non-dispensing pharmacy – said sales of at-home hair care, skin care, nail care and grooming products had soared in recent weeks as consumers turned to do-it-yourself alternatives “in lieu of beauty salons, hairdressers and nail bars” that had been closed.
“It just goes to show that despite having minimal contact with one another, looking and feeling our best is still an important part of daily UK lifestyle,” the retailer said.
At-home hair – touch ups and experiments
Superdrug said its haircare category had surged significantly, with a 76% growth Year to Date (YTD) for the week of April 27 – May 2 versus the previous year, largely driven by rising sales of at-home hair dye kits.
“Within this, sales of root touch up products are driving the growth, with all five bestsellers in the hair dye category being root touch up products,” it said.
Customers were also clearly “feeling experimental” with colour, Superdrug said, as bright, vibrant hair dye products had seen strong growth in the past month.
The retailer had also witnessed a rise in at-home salon accessories, including hair thinning scissors, tinting brushes and mixing bowls, as consumers looked to recreate “the salon experience at home”.
Self-care skin – a top to toe regime
Superdrug said its skin care category had also experienced a 62% YTD uplift for the week April 27 – May 2 versus the previous year, largely driven by consumers looking for “moments of self-care”.
And consumers, it said, were investing in a “top to toe skin care regime”, with peel-off, purifying and exfoliating face masks and vitamin-enriched facial and body creams among the top 50 bestselling SKUs within Superdrug’s entire beauty and personal care category during lockdown.
“While in lockdown, it appears that taking good care of our skin remains a priority for customers,” the retailer said.
DIY nails plus his and hers grooming
Superdrug said there had also been a surge in sales for nail maintenance products as consumers attempted “at-home manicures”.
Within nail care, artificial nails had seen most growth – up 24% Week over Week (WoW) between April 12-18 and April 19-25 – and general nail care, nail files, gel nail removal wraps and strengthening treatments had also “all seen an uplift”.
Consumers were also opting to replicate beauty salon procedures at home, with sales of eyebrow trimming and maintenance products also on the rise, Superdrug said.
Men’s grooming also now accounted for 50% of all beauty electrical sales (between April 12 – 25), with hair clippers the bestseller of all electricals, indicating “plenty of men” were also resorting to an “at-home chop”, the retailer said.
Whilst many Superdrug stores had remained open during the ongoing lockdown, the chain said its online sales were up 55% Year on Year (YoY) for the week April 27 – May 2, 2020.