Holland & Barrett

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A Holland & Barrett in the Netherlands
Potentially edible!
Food woo
Icon food.svg
Fabulous food!
Delectable diets!
Bodacious bods!

Holland & Barrett is the biggest chain of health food shops in the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. It has a beans and sandals image despite being part of a private equity firm L1 Retail, which is owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman.[1]

Products and services[edit]

Among the items found on their shelves are:

The BBC investigated Holland & Barrett's in-store food allergy testing. They found the results varied widely from shop to shop; an undercover reporter was told he was sensitive to dozens of foods.[6]


The company took part in the government's ill-fated Workfair program, which forced benefit claimants to work for free at their shops. The company withdrew after pickets and bad publicity.

MP David Tredinnick is known as The honourable Member for Holland and Barrett for his support of homoeopathy.[7]


Fittingly, Holland & Barrett employ a company called Woo to do their in-store marketing.[8]

They also have a long-running offer where if you buy two products the cheaper costs one penny. This accurately reflects the value of most of their products.


The firm was founded by Alfred Slapps Barrett and Major William Holland in 1870 in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, selling clothes and groceries.[9] It only gradually moved into the "health food" and woo market, passing through a variety of corporate parents. In 1970, it was bought by the cash and carry firm Booker which combined it with their Heath and Heather tea shops. Healthcare group LloydsPharmacy bought it in 1992, and in 1997 ownership passed to Nature's Bounty Co (NBTY).[9] In 2010, NBTY was bought by The Carlyle Group, a private equity group with major investments in defence and links to George H. W. Bush. In 2017, Carlyle sold Holland & Barrett to L1 Retail, a subdivision of LetterOne,Wikipedia which is owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman (although headquartered in Luxembourg).[1][10] It was LetterOne's first major retail acquisition; they also have extensive stakes in the oil and gas industry through subsidiary L1 Energy, including ownership of German oil and gas company DEA AG,Wikipedia and hold a significant stake in internet taxicab firm Uber.[11]

External links[edit]