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Retailer Spotlight: Holland & Barrett


Posted At: 09 March 2015 12:56 PM
Related Categories: Retailers


Holland and Barrett has recently announced plans to expand its head offices in Nuneaton with the creation of 30 new jobs following a period of sustained success. Retail Week reported that the health food and nutritional supplements retailer will also be adding 40 new roles across different departments in the business over the next six months, alongside 200 new jobs in its stores nationwide.

The move follows a record six years of consecutive growth for the company, with last year seeing 7.5% growth. A key milestone for the business was the opening of its 1,000th store in the Trafford Centre, Manchester in October 2014.

Supporting this growth is the evolution of socio-economic factors including a more health conscious population where fitness and eating right is playing a more important role in consumer spending. The growth of the “health pound” has seen Holland & Barrett focus on this market as well as reach out to a younger audience, through greater adoption of social media in its marketing campaigns. For example Holland and Barrett’s “weird and wonderful” range featuring its snail gel products directly targeted a younger, more health literate demographic through its unconventional products and relevant brand ambassador in Louise Redknapp.

Other ways the retailer has targeted younger consumers include 2013’s “Shake- A- Whey” protein shake bar at its store in London’s Leadenhall Market. Designed to accommodate the life-style of City workers, the bar - which opened at 7.30am for early morning commuters – allowed shoppers to mix their own protein drink to take away or fill up a bottle to drink later.

A readiness to adopt new technology is responsible in no small part for the brand’s growth. In-store this includes piloting iBeacon technology, and online, launching a Click and Collect service prior to Christmas, further developing its omni-channel offering and capitalising on its extensive property presence. This was underpinned by a heavy investment in a website re-brand.

Trialling alternative store sizes has proved a successful strategy for Holland & Barrett, opening a 7,000 sq ft superstore to expand its frozen food and beauty product last autumn, alongside its expansion into free-from and ethical beauty products. At the same time, the company announced plans to strengthen its European presence with 70 new branches; this will include 40 stores in the UK and Ireland, and 30 in Holland and Belgium opening between October 2014 and September 2015. CEO, Peter Aldis, has hinted at possible expansion across Asia.

Holland and Barrett has rapidly positioned itself as a retailer ready to understand and respond to consumer needs as the change in customer buying behaviour expands a significantly growing market opportunity. We look forward to more innovation from this brand.


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