Holland & Barrett menopause service

Source: Holland & Barrett

The new online portal will offer free menopause advice and support in a number of languages

Holland & Barrett is to extend its free menopause advice service, adding new languages and an online portal as part of efforts to address a ‘menopause ethnicity gap’.

The health and wellness retailer first launched a free in-store consulting service in October 2022, training 4,000 staff on how to recognise symptoms and advise customers, and opened consultation rooms in some stores.

The new online portal provides tailored advice and support in different languages, starting with Urdu, Hindi, Gujarati and Punjabi.

In a YouGov survey of 650 women aged 40 and over from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds commissioned by the retailer, 51% of respondents said they felt the current advice around the menopause was not representative.

About a third (31%) felt being able to speak to a healthcare professional of the same ethnicity as them would have made a difference to their personal experience of the process, and 15% said being able to seek advice in their native language would make a positive difference.

It comes as part of a wider awareness campaign called ‘Every Menopause Matters’ launched this week. It will see the retailer partner with the women’s health charity Wellbeing of Women to launch a new fund to provide underrepresented groups with tailored menopause advice, support and grants.

“We have long supported women’s wellness and while a lot of work has taken place to break the taboo surrounding menopause, our customers have told us there’s still much more to do to represent every woman’s experience,” said Lina Chan, women’s health director at H&B.

“That’s why we’ve worked with our colleagues, and leading campaigners such as Menopause Mandate and Wellbeing of Women, to look at simple ways we can help all women to be heard and supported, both through H&B and out in the communities we serve.

“We know there is more to do to make the menopause conversation truly inclusive of all experiences, and this is our next step on that journey,” Chan added.  

The retailer – which was acquired by Russian-founded investment house LetterOne in 2017 – has been working to widen its customer offering by adding more experiential and healthcare elements to its store footprint.

In March it launched an own-label range of 48-hour at-home blood tests in a tie-up with DNA testing company Avie. This followed the launch of a DNA testing trial in its flagship Marble Arch store in London which enables the retailer to recommend products based on a customer’s DNA profile.

In a programme similar to its menopause campaign, Holland & Barrett has also trained store staff as gut health advisors. The initiative also includes an online portal, and saw some consultation spaces added to stores.