Our purpose is to be the best in everyday accessible beauty and are committed to bringing innovation and the latest styles and trends to every high street in the UK and Southern Ireland at fantastic prices. From Superdrug Own Brand labels such as Solait suncare, Optimum skincare, our Essentials brand and exclusive cosmetics brands such as GOSH, Bloom and Famous together with landing branded launches first on the high street from L’Oreal’s limited edition Cheryl hairspray to the latest Maybelline mascara launch our customers can be reassured that we are committed to bringing new and beautiful brands to our customers exclusively and faster than our competition, securing exclusives ahead of any other UK retailer.
Superdrug currently has over 900 stores including stores in the Republic Of Ireland and employs 16,000 colleagues. Every store has a fragrance offer and in July 2010 we announced our intention to launch The Perfume Shop, shop within shop concepts in ten stores. Over 220 stores have pharmacies with pharmacy consulting rooms. We currently have 19 stores with nurse clinics offering health checks. Superdrug is the only high street retailer with its own team of nurses and in January 2010 announced plans to be the first high street retailer to offer HIV testing on the high street.
We are a challenging brand on behalf of our customers. After a ten month campaign lobbying the UK Government to slash the VAT on condoms we celebrated a successful outcome to this campaign in the 2006 Budget when the Chancellor slashed the VAT on condoms from 17.5 per cent to five per cent. We continue to lobby the Government to reduce the VAT on sun cream as part of our campaign to raise funds and awareness for skin cancer and in July 2010 we announced plans to end charges on private prescriptions.
In the past six years we have worked with a number of charities including Prince's Trust, Institute of Cancer Research, Teenage Cancer Trust, NSPCC and Cancer Research UK. Since 2006 we have raised over £1m for our charity partners.A key element to our brand's success is ensuring that our team is trained to give customers the service and quality they deserve. Through our retail academy team members are given the skills, confidence and knowledge to offer customers the best beauty and health advice on the high street. We signed up to the Government's skills pledge to ensure that all young people who work for Superdrug receive the necessary basic vocational and educational skills through a modern apprenticeship scheme. In June 2010 one of our store managers received the Apprenticeship of the Year award from the National Apprenticeship Service.
In the Autumn of 2010 Superdrug will launch a major TV campaign to help customers rediscover the brand, the first time the retailer has been on TV in almost ten years.