UK home improvement retailer Wickes is playing its part in protecting its customers, with an interesting move into the sunscreen market.

The company has launched free private brand sun cream products in store with packaging much more reminiscent of wood filler or paint than traditional balms, in an awareness drive underlining its research finding that there has been a 119% rise in melanoma skin cancer incidence rates since the early 90s. Melanoma is an illness highly contractable in the construction industry due to long periods spent by tradespeople in the outdoors.

Head of brand and communications at Wickes Matthew Gaunt said: “It is clear that there’s a real need here and we want to help tradespeople working outdoors get to grips with this issue. We hope that by trialing Wickes Tradesman’s Suncream in our stores, it helps raise awareness of an important issue within the industry, as well as making protection from the sun’s rays more accessible to tradespeople in the UK.”

Dr. Lesley Rushton, who works at the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Imperial College London, added: “We have estimated that around one construction worker every fortnight will get a melanoma caused by sun exposure at work.

“Occupational solar exposure is often overlooked but it is so important that tradespeople are well informed about the potential implications of being sunburnt, and that they take the necessary steps to minimize their risk.”

The products are now available in stores in a variety of styles: Brickie’s Bronze, Plasterers Pink or Apprentice White.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.