Holland & Barrett’s overseas expansion gathers further pace with news that the health food retailer has signed a deal with India’s Apollo Hospitals group to open 1,000 franchise stores in the country over the next five years.
The deal is worth around £20 million, with the opening of the first store said to imminent.
Commenting, Holland & Barrett CEO, Peter Aldis, said: “The secret of the success of our international growth has been to combine the best of British products and heritage with local market understanding and expertise by our overseas franchisees. We are seeing that consumer interest and engagement with health and wellness in the UK is being replicated in India and many other countries in which we are either already operating or currently exploring. With our strong product offering and expert training for franchisees, we are quickly able to adapt to these different markets and gain a foothold.”
The announcement of the deal in India coincides with news that Holland & Barrett International has been granted the Queen’s Award for International Trade.
Aldis commented: “We are honoured to be presented with this, the most prestigious award for businesses in the UK. We have enjoyed remarkable growth overseas these past few years through investing in acquisitions and our franchise business model. Our 145 year-old British legacy has played a vital role in the success of our business in markets such as China, Singapore and the UAE as consumers value our expertise and trust the quality of British-made products. We are very proud to be a British business that is driving the health and wellness sector forward around the world and this award is recognition of our team’s achievement in transforming our business into a truly international enterprise.”
• Speaking at this week’s Natural & Organic Products Europe, Peter Aldis said that Holland & Barrett International had recently completed its 28th consecutive quarter of growth with an annual growth rate of over 10%. He said that sales rose from £513.6m in 2014 to £573.8m in 2015, with around 26% (£133m) representing international sales.
“Yes, I see health food independents as my competition but also as my brothers and sisters”
Reaching out to the independent health food trade, Aldis said: “We give this industry a ton of support. And not only with our people, but with our finances too, we will continue to do so. I love coming to these shows and I love the independent trade. Yes, I see health food independents as my competition but also as my brothers and sisters – much more than I do the supermarkets, or Boots or anybody else. We are in the same game and we are going to try to help.”