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Superdrug owner AS Watson reports 47% growth in global online health & beauty sales

Health and beauty retail group AS Watson saw its global ecommerce businesses achieve a 47% increase in health and beauty sales in 2016. It has also revealed that its UK business Superdrug increased its online sales by 60%.


Superdrug owner AS Watson reports 47% growth in global online health & beauty sales

In May 2014, AS Watson announced plans to accelerate its digital and CRM strategy with an initial investment of $60 million. Since then the group has been recruiting more staff for its inhouse digital studio eLab, working to improve the mobile customer experience and rolling-out mobile apps. It has also been focusing on integrating social into the total customer experience, improving content, and expanding click and collect in most countries.

The group says digital now plays a vital part in supporting its physical stores business which now comprises over 13,300 stores in 25 markets. Meanwhile, loyalty members have grown to 120 million.

Malina Ngai, chief operating officer of AS Watson Group, said: "What's encouraging for us is that we are not only seeing high online sales growth but also seeing increased footfall in our stores combined with a high annual spend from our loyalty card customers who shop with us both offline and online. In the UK, for example, our Superdrug business achieved a high single digit like-for-like sales growth of 7.2% for the five weeks ended 2 January 2017 while growing its online business by 47% in the same period."

AS Watson's ecommerce businesses in Europe delivered a 42% sales increase in 2016 with cosmetics up 63% and all categories of fragrance, toiletries, skincare and health performing well. Highlights from the year in Europe include Black Friday which saw sales up over 103% with four orders processed every five seconds.

In Asia, the group saw health and beauty online sales grow by 69% as trade was driven by good participation from its loyalty programmes.

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