Holland & Barrett
| Potentially edible!|
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.
Products and services
Among the items found on their shelves are:
- Homeopathic remedies
- Vitamin supplements at much higher doses than typically needed.
- Nutritional supplements
- Magic bracelets
- Shark cartilage
- Horny goat weed (Epimedium spp.)
- Kosher food
- Every mainstream variety of herbal tea
- Fairtrade products
- Lots of different types of honey
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.
Fittingly, Holland & Barrett employ a company called Woo to do their instore marketing.
They also have a long-running offer where if you buy 2 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. 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, who united 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). 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, which is owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman (although headquartered in Luxembourg). 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, and hold a significant stake in internet taxicab firm Uber.
- Holland & Barrett sold to Russian billionaire for £1.8bn, Press Association/The Guardian, 26 June 2017
- See the Wikipedia article on Holland & Barrett.
- Mikhail M Fridman, Bloomberg Billionaires Index, accessed 14 May 2018
- See the Wikipedia article on LetterOne.
- See the Wikipedia article on DEA AG.
- Fridman's L1 Retail to buy Holland & Barrett for $2.3 billion, Reuters, 26 June 2017.