Holland & Barrett is to embark on a “major” multimillion-pound redevelopment of its Burton distribution centre.
Over the next few years, the health and wellness retailer will install a new fulfilment system at the site as it looks to scale and modernise its e-commerce capabilities.
In order to facilitate the move, H&B has signed a three-year partnership with THG Ingenuity – the logistics arm of THG Group – which will now handle the retailer’s e-commerce supply chain while the work is underway.
H&B will continue to operate its retail and wholesale fulfilment capacity from the Burton site.
An unspecified number of roles are thought to be affected by the changes, but H&B said it would work to “minimise” any redundancies. The company is currently consulting with affected employees, who will be offered the chance to transfer to THG, or seek employment within other roles at the Burton hub if possible.
The partnership with THG would enable H&B to continue to “rapidly scale” its online business while the refit was being carried out, the company said.
“Holland & Barrett’s goal is to be the trusted health and wellness partner for over 100 million people globally by 2026 and our fulfilment operations in Burton are crucial in making sure our stores can serve customers across the country and deliver products around the world,” said H&B chief operating officer Anthony Houghton.
“We’re growing as a business, with digital sales making a significant volume of our total sales, and our current operations are already at 95% capacity,” Houghton said. “We need to invest now in a new digital outbound system to meet the future demands of our customers.
“Our proposed three-year partnership with THG Ingenuity will mean we can continue to grow at pace with a partner who are industry experts in D2C fulfilment, while we invest in transforming our supply chain capabilities”.
The move is the latest in a wider £350m programme of investment aimed at modernising the Holland & Barrett business and estate, following the buyout of its £700m debt by owner LetterOne in November 2022.
This week H&B kicked off the next wave of the category overhaul, with the launch of a new specialist ingredients range tailored to customers who have lost their sense of taste or smell due to illness.
To coincide with the latest launch, H&B kicked off a new advertising campaign, which will see the chain return to linear television for the first time since 2021. The new £4m campaign – which is accompanied by a content partnership with The Guardian, digital advertising and social media, will focus on encouraging Brits to “prioritise health and happiness” in the new year.