Superdrug refocus as roster reviewed

Superdrug is reviewing its design consultancy roster following the takeover of its parent company Kruidvat by the ports-to-telecommunications giant Hutchison Whampoa last week.

Credential presentations by Pearlfisher, Turner Duckworth, Brandhouse WTS, and Creative Leap are in progress. Superdrug is also considering two other unnamed consultancies.

Williams Murray Hamm has refused to re-pitch for the business. Sources suggest the group is unhappy with the company’s plans to increase the number of consultancies on the roster.

Creative Leap director Trevor Bradford welcomes the review as an opportunity for Superdrug to refocus its brand which, he argues, has been shadowed by over emphasis on low prices.

‘Superdrug has spent a great deal of time building on best value. It’s a shame to see it not maximising a unique position within the health and beauty market where it is stronger than its nearest rival Boots the Chemists,’ he says.

The latest review is spearheaded by Superdrug design manager Neil Pedliham and a decision is expected by the end of September.

Pedliham says the review is ‘slightly more complicated than usual’, but declined to give details.

Hutchison Whampoa is pushing ahead with plans to retail its ‘3’ brand, third generation mobile phone services through its AS Watson business, which includes Superdrug’s 700 stores.

Hutchison Whampoa refused to say whether the Superdrug stores would be rebranded, but Krudivat chief executive officer Dick Van Hedel revealed plans to expand Superdrug’s offering into mainstream electrical, home entertainment and toys.

‘The acquisition by Hutchison Whampoa will allow us to offer a greater depth of competively priced goods,’ says Van Hedel.

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