Europe’s largest health and wellness retailer Holland & Barrett says it plans to open a fully-vegan store in in the near future – on the back of rising demand for vegan friendly foods and health solutions.
The plans, initially hinted at in an UK newspaper The Telegraph’s interview with Holland & Barrett CEO Peter Aldis, have been confirmed by the heath retail giant. Aldis said the rise of the 'health-conscious consumer', and the growing vegan movement, were two major factors behind the move.
"Today there is a trend towards veganism,” he is quoted in The Telegraph. “It is our space and we should be in it."
Holland & Barrett confirmed to NutraIngredients that launching a vegan-only store is ‘something we have long considered.’
“Currently we do not have a timescale as our store portfolio is changing quickly with larger and more modern stores opening across the UK,” a spokesperson exclusively told us.
“We are however confident of opening this type of format in the not too distant future and look forward to keeping the vegan community updated.”
New ownership, new ways of working
Last year, US private equity firm Carlyle sold Holland & Barrett to investment fund L1 Retail - controlled by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman. The €2 billion sale ended Carlyle's seven-year ownership of Holland & Barrett, which has reported 35 consecutive quarters of brand like-for-like growth - and currently operates more than 1,100 stores across the world, including 788 branches in the UK and Ireland of which 32 are ‘store in store’ concepts with Tesco.
Earlier this year, the group appointed ex-Sainsbury's director Steve Carson as MD and former P&G CMO Roisin Donnelly - announcing at the time that the new hires signalled Holland & Barrett's intent to become one of the world's leading health and wellness brands.
Speaking at the time, Aldis said the appointment of both Carson as MD and Donnelly to the Group Board represent important strategic milestones that will help to drive ‘digital transformation’ in all aspects of the business.
“Coming so soon after our acquisition by L1 Retail, it is as clear signal of our intent to become one of the world's leading health and wellness brands,” the CEO said.