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Holland & Barrett opens in China

UK health food retailer Holland & Barrett has entered the Chinese market with the opening of two stores in Shanghai.

By the end of this year the company will have 16 stores trading – but it plans more than 500 stores within five years.

“We will start from Shanghai, and go all over China in the future. Our target is to become the number one brand for health living in China,” said Harvey Kamil, vice chairman of NBTC, parent company of Holland & Barrett.

British Embassy to China minister and deputy head, Chris Wood, sees Holland & Barrett having a good potential to grow in China as consumers are becoming increasingly discerning.

As part of its commitment to China, Holland & Barrett is rolling out a health consultancy service that enables customers to book one-on-one sessions on healthy living.

Global franchising manager Mark Stewart-Maunder said that this consultancy is a unique service, launched in conjunction with the company’s entry into the Chinese market.

Data from the National Development and Reform Commission’s Public Nutrition and Development Center revealed that more than 260 billion yuan (US$41 billion) worth of health foods were sold in China last year.

Holland & Barrett would be in tough competition with other health food retailers including Amway, General Nutrition Centers, and Tongrentang. However, Stewart-Maunder is confident that the more than 90 years of history of Holland & Barrett will help it gain consumers’ trust.

Holland & Barrett, which retails vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements, has more than 700 stores in the UK and Ireland, 10 franchised stores in Singapore, three each in Malta and the UAE, six in Cyprus and one each in Gibraltar and Hungary.


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