Author: Natasha Hewitt, 03 May 2018

Recent news that Superdrug has opened a Vegan pop-up at Box Park in Shoreditch opened up an interesting discussion in the FSP office. The temporary store is stocking only cruelty free and vegan friendly makeup and skincare and will be open until the end of June. While the conversation started on the innovation that Superdrug is displaying, both with this new initiative and their foray into hair salons at Fosse Park, the debate evolved into a wider discussion on the place of Veganism in the retail industry as a whole.

Superdrug Vegan pop-up

With over 1,000 Vegan products currently on offer at Superdrug, and sales of these products up 15% in the last year, it is understandable that the retailer wants to investigate the appetite for a more specialised approach. Notable other brands that have expanded into similar markets are Pret a Manger and Holland & Barrett. In fact, Pret opened its second ‘Veggie Pret’ 5 minutes from where the pop-up store was located (Shoreditch), confirming the potential for pop-ups to be used to test a market.

Veggie Pret

Vegan goods have been available for much longer at health foods shop Holland & Barrett. However, with the vegan community increasing by 350% in the last decade, there is a clear opportunity for increased marketing to, and drawing additional spend from, this growing market.

Social media is increasing the prevalence of these socially-aware products, particularly amongst millennials and generation Z shoppers. Young fashion retailers are also keen to capitalise on the opportunity, with Boohoo.com and Nasty Gal marketing ‘faux leather’ products as ‘Vegan leather’. This use of the Vegan movement as a marketing tool demonstrates the perceived scale of the opportunity, and the benefits of associating with it.

Going forward, it will be interesting to see if Superdrug will follow in the footsteps of Pret a Manger by creating a more permanent outlet for its Vegan goods, create instore areas where products are ‘Vegan only’ or utilise it largely as a marketing angle. Either way, with booming sales and the opportunity to access a wider, younger and more socially conscious audience, it is likely we will be seeing an increasing prevalence of this buzz word, both on social media and on our high streets.

To discover if your retail asset is likely to support a pop up store, or if the age profile of your catchment would suit a trend-led retailer, contact FSP

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