Superdrug launches own-brand Studio London budget cosmetics range for affordable and diverse strategy

Just a year after Superdrug revamped and relaunched its own skincare line B. Skin, the beauty retailer has today launched a budget make-up line Studio London. The 136-product range included a selection of foundations, eye shadows, lip glosses and lipsticks, all vegan, fluid and suitable for various skin tones, with each product selling for less than €10 ( £9) and many under €6. (£5).

The AS Watson-owned retailer said the range was designed to offer consumers “high performance products that will cost the Earth nothing”.

“…Studio London aims to make your makeup products more effective with smaller price tags, enabling risk-free expression and ensuring high-quality products are available to everyone”,says Superdrug.

The range had been launched alongside a campaign supporting individuality, diversity and the freedom to be creative – an initiative strongly aligned with changing beauty ideals and unconventional consumer expectations.

‘Wise’ and ‘Essential’ range for beauty consumers

Sofie Willmott, head of health and beauty analytics at GlobalData, told CosmeticsDesign-Europe that Superdrug has been “wise”​to launch a discounted, own-brand makeup line at a time when consumers were “reduce expenses as product prices and monthly expenses increase”.

“A wide range of low-cost cosmetics will somehow help to keep shoppers from turning to discounters,”said Willmott.

Ensuring the range was inclusive and diverse was also “essential”for beauty shoppers today, as consumers have come to expect choice, largely since the launch of Rihanna’s pioneering brand, Fenty Beauty, in 2017, she said.

“Young shoppers expect to be able to find products to suit their needs and Superdrug’s Studio London range offers a wide selection of affordable beauty products and gifts.”

Superdrug’s budget own-label make-up range, Studio London, is designed for diversity [Image: Superdrug]

A tight beauty budget

According to a report released last month by high-end beauty and wellness brand Beauty Pie, in partnership with consulting firm The Future Laboratory, consumers were now demanding fairer beauty pricing and more effective treatments. products amid the cost of living crisis.

The report showed that if 15 of the leading beauty brands sourced from the same three manufacturers, “super inflated margins”​ resulted in a wide range of final product prices – a fact that consumers were increasingly savvy.

“As people continue to re-evaluate their spending habits and become more knowledgeable about these varying cost structures, there will be a radical new demand for fairness in the industry across everything from price to product effectiveness, as people become more aware of these margins.”,Beauty Pie said in her report.

According to Nicolas Hieronimus, CEO of L’Oréal, the global appetite for beauty has remained “intact”despite financial difficulties.

“Overall, people are getting used to inflation and have the intention to spend,”Hieronimus told analysts on L’Oreal’s third-quarter earnings conference call last month. However, the CEO acknowledged that L’Oréal consumers were “not the most vulnerable to inflation” ​and breadth of its portfolio, offering a range of products at different price points, had helped capture spending across different consumer budgets.

Superdrug Premium Fragrance Boost

This strategy of expanding the portfolio had also been used by Superdrug, with the expansion of its premium fragrance offering earlier this year through the acquisition of seven new prestige brands. At the time, Superdrug Chief Commercial Officer Megan Potter said the move allowed the retailer to offer customers “a complete shopping experience”and “something for everyone”.

Analyzing the decision given the current cost of living crisis, Kimberly Howard, semiotics director and trends expert at research agency Verve, said that with every trend, there is a counter-trend. “Many big brands are investing in very inexpensive lines with high quality ingredients to help consumers have an affordable skincare regimen. At the same time, just because people’s budgets are tight doesn’t mean they won’t invest in luxury goods. They will just be very picky about the luxury goods they have,” Howard said.

Donovan B. Sanford