We became part of the AS Watson family in October 2002. We were founded in 1964 by the Goldstein family who developed the business from just one store and sold the business to Kingfisher in 1987. A major expansion programme for us was accelerated by the acquisition in 1988 of the Tip Top chain. In 1989, the Medicare chain was acquired increasing our store base to over 650. In July 2001 we were purchased by Dutch health and beauty chain, Kruidvat Beheer BV who sold its retail interests to ASW in October 2002.
We are the United Kingdom's second-largest beauty and health retailer currently operating over 900 stores in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. We currently have 226 in-store pharmacies.
Our purpose is to be the best in everyday accessible beauty and are committed to bringing innovation and the latest styles and trends to every high street in the UK and Southern Ireland at fantastic prices. From Superdrug Own Brand labels such as Solait suncare, Optimum skincare, our Essentials brand and exclusive cosmetics brands such as GOSH, Bloom and Famous together with landing branded launches first on the high street from L’Oreal’s limited edition Cheryl hairspray to the latest Maybelline mascara launch our customers can be reassured that we are committed to bringing new and beautiful brands to our customers exclusively and faster than our competition, securing exclusives ahead of any other UK retailer.
Superdrug currently has over 900 stores including stores in the Republic Of Ireland and employs 16,000 colleagues. Every store has a fragrance offer and in July 2010 we announced our intention to launch The Perfume Shop, shop within shop concepts in ten stores. Over 220 stores have pharmacies with pharmacy consulting rooms. We currently have 19 stores with nurse clinics offering health checks. Superdrug is the only high street retailer with its own team of nurses and in January 2010 announced plans to be the first high street retailer to offer HIV testing on the high street.
We are a challenging brand on behalf of our customers. After a ten month campaign lobbying the UK Government to slash the VAT on condoms we celebrated a successful outcome to this campaign in the 2006 Budget when the Chancellor slashed the VAT on condoms from 17.5 per cent to five per cent. We continue to lobby the Government to reduce the VAT on sun cream as part of our campaign to raise funds and awareness for skin cancer and in July 2010 we announced plans to end charges on private prescriptions.
In the past six years we have worked with a number of charities including Prince's Trust, Institute of Cancer Research, Teenage Cancer Trust, NSPCC and Cancer Research UK. Since 2006 we have raised over £1m for our charity partners.
A key element to our brand's success is ensuring that our team is trained to give customers the service and quality they deserve. Through our retail academy team members are given the skills, confidence and knowledge to offer customers the best beauty and health advice on the high street. We signed up to the Government's skills pledge to ensure that all young people who work for Superdrug receive the necessary basic vocational and educational skills through a modern apprenticeship scheme. In June 2010 one of our store managers received the Apprenticeship of the Year award from the National Apprenticeship Service.
In the Autumn of 2010 Superdrug will launch a major TV campaign to help customers rediscover the brand, the first time the retailer has been on TV in almost ten years.
A.S.Watson Limited is one of the oldest and best-known trading names in Asia. With a history dating back to 1828, the A.S. Watson Group (ASW) has evolved into a truly international retail and manufacturing business with operations in 36 markets worldwide. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Limited, ASW operates over 7,800 retail stores running from health & beauty chains, luxury perfumeries & cosmetics to food, electronics, fine wine and airport duty free. It is also an established player in the beverage industry, providing a full range of beverages from bottled water, fruit juices, soft drinks and tea products to the world's finest wine labels via its international wine wholesaling and distribution network. In 2006, ASW reported turnover of HK$99,149 million (approx. US$12,711 million).
A.S. WATSON IN ASIA
The A.S. Watson portfolio encompasses some of Asia's favourite brands and retail chains. These include health & beauty specialist Watsons Your Personal Store, PARKnSHOP supermarkets, Great Food Hall, Taste food galleria, Gourmet boutique style fine food hall, Fortress electrical appliance stores, Watson's Wine Cellar and Nuance-Watson airport duty free shops. ASW is also a major manufacturer and distributor of water products and beverages in the region with Watsons Water, Mr Juicy and Sunkist being the flagship brands in Hong Kong and Mainland China.
A.S. WATSON IN EUROPE
In Europe, the Group now operates nine health and beauty chains - under Kruidvat, Superdrug, Savers, Trekpleister, Rossmann, Drogas, Spektr, DC and Watsons Your Personal Store, as well as three luxury perfumeries and cosmetics brands Marionnaud, The Perfume Shop and ICI PARIS XL. In Switzerland, wine-trading company Badaracco SA is a valued member of the ASW family, bringing valuable synergy to the Group's retail operations.
Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL) is a leading international corporation committed to innovation and technology with businesses spanning the globe. For information about Hutchison Whampoa Limited, please visit www.hutchison-whampoa.com