J Sainsbury (LON:SBRY) is set to take on Boots, Superdrug and Debenhams with department store-style beauty aisles staffed with specialist assistants, the Guardian has reported. The move comes ahead of the grocer’s proposed merger with Walmart’s Asda which is currently undergoing a competition investigation.
Sainsbury’s share price has been steady in London this morning, having inched 0.19 percent higher to 322.40p as of 08:40 BST, fractionally ahead of the benchmark FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.01 percent higher at 7,511.12points. The grocer’s shares have added more than 35 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with a near two-percent gain in the Footsie.
Beauty market push
The Guardian reported yesterday that Sainsbury’s was planning a substantial push into the UK’s £2.8bn beauty market, which will see the company test out larger beauty aisles in 11 stores around the country, and take them to more stores next year if it proves a success. The supermarket will be doubling the size of its beauty offering to up to 3,000 products, including brands such as Revlon, Essie, Tweezerman and Dr PawPaw for the first time, while existing ranges from L’Oreal, Maybelline and Burt’s Bees will get more space with branded areas similar to those found in shops like Boots. In addition, perfume retailer the Fragrance Shop will be testing out concessions in two of the supermarket’s stores.
“We’ve transformed the look and feel of our beauty aisles to enhance the environment for our customers,” Paul Mills-Hicks, Sainsbury’s commercial director, said, as quoted by the newspaper, adding that the group had also “invested in specially trained colleagues who will be on hand to offer advice”.
Analysts on grocer
UBS reaffirmed Sainsbury’s as a ‘buy’ on Friday, without specifying a price target on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip group currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 310.69p.