'New and improved' at a cost

Tue, Oct 2, 2012, 01:00

SIOBHAN KEANE was in a Boots store recently and bought a number of its own brand No7 products as she frequently does.

“I noticed the new packaging and branding and wondered what else had changed. So when I got home I compared one of the products, the No7 Loose Powder, to the ‘old’ version.”

Lo and behold it wasn’t just the packaging that changed. “I was very interested, and a bit perturbed (I am being polite here) to discover that the new package has just 20g compared to 24g in the old packaging,” she writes.

“The cost of the 20g today was €13.75, and although I don’t know the price of the previous version off the top of my head, I’m 99 per cent certain the cost of the new smaller package is not lower. Indeed, I think it may actually have increased in price.”

She goes on to say that there are no claims that this pack is “new and improved” and a quick look on the labels suggests no change in the product itself except for the size.

“Did Boots think that we just wouldn’t notice? I would be interested to know what their line is on this, and indeed how many of the products in their newly packaged No7 range have been reduced in size but not in price.

“I know this kind of shabby dealing, trying to hoodwink the customer happens all the time, but thought I should at least let them know that were onto them!”

A spokeswoman said that the Boots’ No7 range has been relaunched alright but had also invested in a net price reduction across the range “while continuing to offer fantastic offers such as the current three-for-two offers or coupons for money off cosmetics/skincare.”

She said the price of the vast majority of the No7 range has decreased but not all of them. “In the case of the No7 Loose Powder product the formulation has not changed although the pack has been redesigned. The product was €15.20 for 24g and now retails at €13.75 for 20g.”

We did the maths and reckon the change makes it nearly 10 per cent more expensive. Before the change it came in at €633 per kg while after the change it was €687.50 per kg.