Holland & Barrett
In 2017 we acquired 100% of Holland & Barrett from Nature’s Bounty/Carlyle Group for £1.77 bn. The transaction was funded by equity from LetterOne and £825 m of senior debt financing, coordinated by Citi, HSBC, UBS, Societe Generale and Barclays.
Founded in 1870, Holland & Barrett has grown to be Europe’s largest health and wellness retailer, with 1300 stores in more than 18 countries.
We believe Holland & Barrett is well positioned for growth, meeting the health and wellness needs of its customers and benefiting from increased awareness and desire for healthy living. The company has achieved 42 consecutive quarters of like-for-like revenue growth, driven by strong execution, product innovation and a growing digital presence.
consecutive quarters of like-for-like growth.
Working with the management team at Holland & Barrett, we are developing a long-term vision and growth ambition for the company. This will be driven by digital transformation of all aspects of the business, using data to better understand and meet customers’ needs, developing technology IP and capabilities and shaping the leadership and culture to focus on achieving long-term success in a changing retail environment. Holland & Barrett has accelerated investment in recruiting and developing top-tier talent in all areas of the business to help drive this vision forward.
The focus of L1 Retail and management is on three core strategic priorities:
- Building talent capabilities to drive business model transformation.
2019 saw the significant strengthening of the Holland & Barrett board and the recruitment of a new senior management team with experience in retail and digital transformation.
- Investment in developing own technology capabilities.
As a long-term investor, L1 Retail believes that flexible technology will become an ever more important competitive differentiation in the rapidly- evolving health and wellness market. In 2019, Holland & Barrett embarked on an ambitious technology transformation programme to replace existing legacy solutions with technology applications that are developed internally by Holland & Barrett. Over time, the investment in a technology “build” capability will deliver significant operating efficiencies and allow for a much more flexible business model, with an ambition to place Holland & Barrett as a platform for a growing eco-system of health and wellness advocates, products, and services offerings.
- Transforming Holland & Barrett’s customer proposition.
In the short term, there is clear focus on fixing the basics within the business – driving a more extensive, attractive, and innovative product range; accelerating digital growth with greater connectivity of online and store experience; investment in store experience through colleague training and refreshing store formats; and undertaking a comprehensive plan for driving operating efficiencies across the organisation. Over the longer term, Holland & Barrett is investing to develop new service offerings that will enable customers to lead healthier and longer lives through better understanding their individual health and wellness needs.
H&B website - https://www.hollandandbarrettcorporate.com/about-us
In 2019, Holland & Barrett continued to develop within a growing health and wellness market and maintained its position as Europe’s largest health and wellness retail chain with over 1,000 stores across the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
Operational and Financial performance
The business achieved its 42nd consecutive quarter of like-for-like growth, ahead of the overall retail market, despite the challenges impacting the overall retail environment and the uncertainty of Brexit in its core UK market. Holland & Barrett has a strong and profitable store network and sees opportunity for further growth.
Short-term profitability this year has been impacted by investment in the business, in particular in technology, stores, and in the team. These investments added some short-term costs, but Holland & Barrett fully expects to reduce its costs in the coming year and drive stronger returns from investments. The new financial year started well, and Holland & Barrett has ample liquidity and resources at its disposal to continue to invest and drive the business forward.
Holland & Barrett is well positioned in the structural growth health and wellness markets and experienced strong growth in its core vitamins, herbals, minerals, and supplements categories and in online sales. The business has a long history of ethical and sustainable consciousness in sourcing, packaging, and in clean ingredients, which continue to be important to customers. 2019 saw the introduction of a number of new product categories in clean beauty, broadening the appeal of Holland & Barrett to new customers.
Environmental, Social, and Governance
Over the last few years, there has been a shift in high street retailers’ approach to sustainability. Holland & Barrett has been ahead of this curve. Its position at the forefront of the sustainable retail transition has seen it produce plans to reduce emissions and its use of plastics and waste, and it first launched their “Plan-it-Green” strategy on these issues in 2007.
In 2019, it became the first major retailer to ban wet wipes, recognising the damage they cause to water systems and the environment. It was previously the first retailer to abandon plastic bags in store, six years before a levy was introduced by the Government. The business has also invested in processes to significantly reduce waste, including enabling its Burton manufacturing site to obtain zero landfill status, six years before the government levy was introduced.
In 2020, Holland & Barrett will be working to reduce its carbon footprint as part of Britain’s journey to Net Zero by 2050. It is developing a new lower carbon, sustainable store format and is rolling out LED lighting across the store estate. It has also improved carbon emissions across its vehicle fleet.
The business is deeply committed to charity and community partnerships. During the COVID-19 crisis, Holland & Barrett donated thousands of products to local food banks and the NHS. It also partnered with Pennies, the micro-donations charity, to help drive fundraising through donations in store and online for NHS Charities Together. Holland & Barrett also offered a discount to NHS key workers to help them stay healthy and well. Profits from the sale of paper bags are donated to Rainbows Children’s Hospice. Holland & Barrett’s Healthy Hope foundation supports colleagues' local fundraising efforts with a focus on health and wellbeing; education relating to health, wellbeing, and the environment; and the protection and improvement of the environment.
The business is committed to diversity and inclusion with new colleague training modules introduced on gender and equality issues. Holland & Barrett has also trained Mental Health First Aiders across its stores, DC, and head office, and developed an ongoing programme of communications and support to colleagues.
Holland & Barrett continually reviews and updates its practices. As a responsible business, Holland & Barrett has reviewed all its supplier payment practices, particularly for small suppliers, to ensure that it is compliant with best practice.