The recent news that Superdrug is set to start offering aesthetics treatments such as Botox and lip fillers in their high-street stores raises a lot of questions about what the future holds for existing aestheticians. Whilst this new competition may be daunting for existing aestheticians, are there elements of the customer – provider relationship that a high street chain simply can’t match?
What is Superdrug offering?
The aesthetics treatments on offer at Superdrug will begin at £99 for a standard Botox treatment for areas such as forehead or crow’s feet. Superdrug is hiring only qualified nurses to carry out the lip filler, anti-wrinkling and Botox treatments, and insists that they are committed to providing the highest standard of service and safety.
It is thought that recent television programs such as Love Island have further popularised treatments such as Botox, lip fillers such as Juviderm and Restylane, and anti-wrinkle treatments, particularly amongst younger clients. Superdrug hopes to capitalise on this increased demand, and has begun delivering treatments at its flagship store in London before branching out across its national network of high-street stores.
However, the fact that Superdrug will only be offering aesthetics treatments to people over the age of 25 means that a significant portion of younger clients will not be able to use this service. This perhaps points to some of the limitations of Superdrug’s venture in to the aesthetics market, especially given the significant increase in the number of 18-25 years olds seeking lip filler treatments such as Restylane and Juviderm, as well as more traditional Botox treatments.
What does this mean for freelance aestheticians and clinics?
Whilst this new competition in the aesthetics market may concern some existing aestheticians, it is important to remember that the demand on freelancers and clinics for lip fillers, Botox and anti-wrinkling, as well as a growing number of new treatments, has never been higher. In recent years, around 100,000 Botox treatments have been carried out in the UK annually, with non-surgical treatments generating almost 3 billion pounds a year. The opportunities for existing aestheticians to grow their businesses continue to emerge.
One area where high street chains will struggle to measure up with freelance aestheticians is in terms of building and maintaining client relationships. Aestheticians with a regular client base have much greater opportunities to build trust and confidence with their clients, to recommend new treatments and introduce new products.
Building a strong client base and developing relationships with clients gives aesthetics providers the opportunity to market their skills and expertise, and introduce clients to new treatments that they offer. For high-street chains offering aesthetic treatments, it is likely to be more difficult to establish that personal touch and build trust between client and provider.