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VAT rise hits Boots’ prices more than Superdrug’s

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Two of the leading health & beauty retailers in the UK have confirmed their plans for the impending VAT rise, and Superdrug customers are to see the lowest price rises.

Superdrug yesterday unveiled its plans to invest £3 million in easing the affect of the 2.5 per cent rise introduced on January 4th, with over 2,000 own-brand products staying at pre-VAT hike levels.

Boots in contrast has confirmed that some products will not be adjusted by the full 2.5 per cent but only Christmas promotional products are to avoid any prices increases.

Steve Jebson, Commercial Director at Superdrug, said: “We are passionate about our own brand products, and obsessive about saving our customers money on their everyday beauty.

“Absorbing the cost of the VAT hike on our own products ensures that customers can continue to trust that we’ll always do everything we can to offer the best deal.”

UK retailers are facing the difficult task of trying to maintain their margins whilst not damaging currently fragile consumer confidence, and with commodity prices also rising it will be a tough call for most as to how much of the VAT rise they choose to absorb.

A Boots spokesman added: “We have been working with our suppliers to minimise the impact of the VAT rate rise on our customers and where possible are not adjusting the price by the full 2.5 per cent increase.

“The change in prices will take place from January 4th 2011 and will be correct at the till point. Shelf edge show material will inform customers that the prices have changed and all price tickets will be corrected over the subsequent four-week period.

“We are committed to offering great value to our customers and will continue to regularly review of prices in line with the market conditions.”

Published on Thursday 30 December by Editorial Assistant

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