Holland & Barrett opens the first of its large format Holland & Barrett More stores today.
The retailer says it will roll out 50 of the new More format stores over the next two years, signaling its intention to take on the supermarkets in key health and beauty categories.
Holland & Barrett describes its new 5,450 sq ft store in Chester, a former Waitrose site, as a ‘free-from concept store’. The store will carry over 700 free-from lines, many sourced from smaller suppliers. Around 1,000 free-from products are currently available from Holland & Barrett’s website, and this is planned to rise to 3,000 by the end the year. A click and collect service goes live in the summer.
The new Chester store was officially opened by Radio 1 DJ and blogger Jameela Jamil
With the £365 million free-from market set to grow by 50% over the next four years, Holland & Barrett has set its sights on becoming the country’s biggest destination for free-from shoppers.
Commenting on the free-from opportunity, NBTY Europe CEO, Peter Aldis, said: “The speed of growth of free-frm has seen it transform from what was once regarded as a nutritional niche into a mainstream shopping option. You Gov data on where people buy free-from products shows we already do well in this market, scoring significantly ahead of Boots and very close to Waitrose and Morrisons. We already have more high street stores than many of the big supermarkets, and the 50 new concept stores we have planned for the next two years will help ensure we can deliver against our ambition to become the largest free-from retailer in the UK.”
The Chester More store, which is three times as large as any other Holland & Barrett site aims to offer ‘whole shop’ convenience, and will include fresh fruit and vegetables – all organic – for the first time. The store incorporates a number of in-store concessions, including a V-Bites vegan café and a Zenerjii smoothie bar, along with a host of new interactive features.
“Because these will be ‘whole shop’ stores, their closest competitors on the high street will be the supermarkets – but we are creating our own category, and we are concentrating firmly on what were good at”
Emma Cockerill, director of sales and procurement, told NPN: “There are always more products we would like to be offering our customers than we have space to accommodate. The Chester store may turn outto be smaller than future Holland & Barrett More sites – we are aggressively looking for bigger city centre sites now. Because these will be ‘whole shop’ stores, their closest competitors on the high street will be the supermarkets – but we are creating our own category, and we are concentrating firmly on what were good at. The new stores will be very recognisably Holland & Barrett.”
What’s different about H&B More?
• New large format stores
• Selling area of 5,500sq ft plus
• Positioned as ‘whole shop’ stores
• High emphasis on free-from
• High level of new suppliers/ brands stocked
• Organic fruit and veg feature
• New in-store concessions – V-Bites café, Zenerjii juice bar