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Sainsbury’s Supermarket Breaks Into Beauty Business

The British chain, which is set to merge with Asda, plans to sell more than 1,500 products.

MAKING IT UP: It’s been a busy year so far for Sainsbury’s, which is set to merge with Asda and create the U.K.’s biggest retail chain. Now there’s another major project in the works: The British supermarket chain plans to roll out a beauty program with a slew of large and small brands, beauty advisers and the relaunch of its in-house vegan range of products.

As part of the strategy that will see Sainsbury’s take on the likes of Boots, Superdrug and Debenhams, there is a plan to revamp the layout of eight stores, introduce specially trained beauty advisers and stock more than 1,500 products. So far, Sainsbury’s said it has secured exclusive brand partnerships with Mane & Tail, Burt’s Bees, Essie, Korres and Dr Paw Paw.

Other ventures include the opening of in-store concessions by The Fragrance Shop, the perfume retailer that stocks scents from brands such as Chanel and Calvin Klein. Sainsbury’s will also relaunch its own Boutique cosmetics range, which consists of 100, mostly vegan products.

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The company did not give details about which stores were earmarked to have the dedicated beauty spaces or the timing of the rollout.

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Sainsbury’s is going for a share of the booming British beauty market, which will reach 27 billion pounds by 2020 with an individual spend per shopper at 487 pounds per annum. The launch of a dedicated beauty space is also part of the supermarket’s aggressive push into bigger ventures.

In April, Sainsbury’s clothing range Tu, which according to the grocer accounts for 1 billion pounds in annual sales, was made available to purchase at 1,100 Argos and Sainsbury’s locations across the U.K.

The proposed merger between Sainsbury’s and competing grocer Asda was revealed in April. The merger will create a retail behemoth with combined revenues of 51 billion pounds.

Sainsbury plc, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, said it hopes to “create a dynamic new player in U.K. retail and create one of U.K.’s leading grocery, general merchandise and clothing retail groups.”