Holland & Barrett takes on supermarkets with new Holland & Barrett More stores
Holland & Barrett is planning to lure shoppers looking to buy allergy free products away from supermarkets with launch of its first Free From concept store Holland & Barrett More.
The largest in the retailers store portfolio Holland & Barret More, which opened today in Chester, stocks 1000 products for food allergy and intolerance sufferers as well as vegetarians and vegans, with the aim to have more than 3,000 products available by the end of this year.
Explaining the idea behind the concept store to The Drum chief marketing officer Lysa Hardy said Holland & Barrett recognised that as a specialist health and wellness retailer it needed to cater for the growing number of people – an estimated 10 million in Britain- suffering with food allergies.
“We already have an established customer base for vegetarian food and we recognised that free from is available in supermarkets, but supermarkets are catering for the masses,” she said.
“Like us they have a finite amount of space so they are never going to be in a position where they can offer the breadth of range that this growing customer base is looking for. We felt as a specialist retailer we really needed to champion the cause and provide that breadth of range.”
For the first time Holland & Barrett will also stock fresh fruit and vegetables to enable those shopping in the More store to carry out a weekly shop in its entirety, negating the need to visit a supermarket.
Despite not wanting to position the More store as a super market, said Hardy, Holland & Barrett is keen to offer consumers a complete shopping experience.
“[Supermarkets] have their own challenges in their sector and that’s not what we are aspiring to be,” she said. “But for a certain customer who is very health conscious we want to give them the convenience of coming to one place and getting what they want.”
The store, which is three times larger than a regular Holland & Barrett outlet, also features a vegan café, juice shop, natural nail bar and nutritionist’s consultation area.
The retailer is also hoping to attract a younger consumer, an on-going strategy at Holland & Barret as seen in its recent advertising campaigns, to tap into an audience that is increasingly focussed on health and well being. As part of that a Tweet Totem will appear in More to display Twitter messages as well as “theatrical elements” such as iPads and an interactive vitamin station.
Should the new store prove popular, Holland & Barrett will look to open a further 49 Move stores as suitably sized properties become available.
All Free From products are now available for home delivery nationwide from the Holland & Barrett website, where users can search, filter and order by allergen as well as food category.
The UK Free From food category continues to show impressive growth, with figures doubling in value since 2009 to reach £365m in 2014 and the market forecast to grow by a further 51 per cent between 2014 and 2019 to reach £551m.