Spanking new revamp gives extra feel good factor to Holland and Barrett
Last week H&B relaunched its entire food range – the biggest shake-up of that part of the business in its history – with more than 300 new own-brand lines and 200 branded lines, including healthy ready meals, vegan “blue cheeses” that apparently taste like the real thing, and chocolate bars that contain the compound Affron to alleviate menopause symptoms.
Executive chairman Alex Gourlay, who was formerly an executive at Walgreens Boots Alliance, said that the vitamins range revamp is next on the agenda, with a relaunch planned for next year.
He explained: “Two years pre- Covid, the market changed. Younger customers became more interested in being healthy. The market has shot up from a medium growth to a high growth category.
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Vitamins is an even more important business than it was five years ago.” As part of its growth plans, H&B is also looking at expanding its presence at Tesco stores and at WHSmith.
At the start of the year, it launched trial concessions at WHSmith’s stores at Heathrow terminal 2, Gatwick’s north terminal and London Euston rail station.
Gourlay said: “We are really pleased with the results of the (WHSmith) trial and are looking to expand to 20 stores.”
Most of H&B’s customers are on specific “shopping missions”, said chief commercial officer Alex Dower. They want to achieve specific goals such as gut health or better sleep and the business is profiting from catering to their needs.
“Most people come into H&B on a mission and missions are growing exponentially,” he said.
The retailer saw double-digit growth over the 12 months to the end of September, as it benefited from clearing its £700million debt in the 2021/22 financial year. That enabled it to invest in the business, helping to fuel its growth.
Vitamins is an even more important business than it was five years ago.” As part of its growth plans, H&B is also looking at expanding its presence at Tesco stores and at WHSmith. At the start of the year, it launched trial concessions at WHSmith’s stores at Heathrow terminal 2, Gatwick’s north terminal and London Euston rail station.
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H&B has more than 1,600 stores in 18 countries and while the relaunch of its food range is concentrating on its UK home market, as well as Belgium and the Netherlands this year, it will expand that next year to other countries, including China.
As part of the food revamp, H&B reintroduced chilled goods, after removing them during the pandemic, and changed the packaging to feature “plant points”, to help customers eat more fruit and vegetables.
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