Holland & Barrett

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Holland & Barrett
Subsidiary
Founded 1920
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Products Vitamins, Minerals, Enzymes, Herbal medicines, Vegetarian food
Parent NBTY
Website www.hollandandbarrett.com

Holland & Barrett is a chain of health food shops with over 700 stores in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, China, Singapore, Spain, Malta, Cyprus and Gibraltar. The company also has stores in the Netherlands, where they trade as De Tuinen.[1]

History[edit]

Holland & Barrett was formed in 1870 by Alfred Slapps Barrett and Major William Holland, who bought a grocery store, selling groceries and clothing.[2]

They developed their business into two shops – a grocery store and a clothing store. It is also evident that in 1900 they occupied a store in the High Street of Epsom.[3] In the 1920s, Alfred Button & Sons bought the business and kept the name Holland & Barrett.[2]

Holland and Barrett has since changed hands a number of times. In 1970, Booker McConnell acquired Holland and Barrett, also acquiring Heath & Heather stores which they later renamed Holland & Barrett. Lloyds Pharmacy later purchased Holland and Barrett in 1992, after which NBTY acquired Holland & Barrett in 1997. NBTY was bought by private American equity firm the Carlyle Group in 2010.[2]

The brand has become synonymous with the sale of vitamins, supplements and homeopathy, to the point that pro-homeopathy MP David Tredinnick has been dubbed "The Hon. Member for Holland and Barrett".[4][5]

Advertising[edit]

Singer Kim Wilde featured in Holland & Barrett TV advertising between 2004/05. Former Blue Peter presenter Gethin Jones and actor David Jason have also voiced them.

A number of Holland & Barrett's advertisements and point of sale displays have been adjudicated as misleading, making unfair comparisons[6] or claims that are unsupported by robust evidence.[7][8]

Franchising[edit]

The company recently started its international expansion with franchising. The first three franchise stores opened in October 2008 in Durban, South Africa and the company currently has nine franchise stores operating in South Africa, all by the same franchisee. Singapore where the company currently has five franchise stores open and Malta with one store were added in 2009. The plan is to expand the Holland & Barrett brand globally with bigger country franchise partners and 2010 will see several country additions to the franchise business.

"Workfare" controversy[edit]

From February 2012, Holland & Barrett in the UK were subject to adverse publicity; boycotts; and demonstrations at stores, due to their use of workfare participants. The Company published no corporate response or interaction via social media for several months until, on 5 July 2012, Holland and Barrett announced it was pulling out of the scheme, citing the negative publicity. The Guardian reported that the company was "no longer prepared to face further bad press and in-store protests", attributing the change of mind to pressure from Solidarity Federation and Boycott Workfare - Holland & Barrett will "now pay all its workforce" and will "henceforth only take apprentices paid at the national rate of £2.60 an hour".[9]

References[edit]

External links[edit]