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Market Commentary

​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 26​​ June, 2017

Holland & Barrett sold for £1.8bn​​​​

The UK’s largest food and health chain, Holland & Barrett, has been sold to L1 Retail for £1.8bn. US private equity firm Carlyle sold the chain to the L1 Retail investment fund, which is controlled by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman. "Holland & Barrett is a clear market leader in the UK health and wellness retail market, with attractive growth positions in other European and international markets", commented L1 Retail managing partner Stephan DuCharme. Holland & Barrett was founded by William Holland and Alfred Barrett in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, in 1870 and has more than 700 stores in the UK and over 1,300 stores worldwide.​

In other news, following their acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon is launching a ‘try-before-you-buy’ service, Prime Wardrobe, as part of its new test program in the US. Prime Wardrobe, which is part of the Amazon Prime shopping club, will allow members to order three or more items without paying for them up-front. Brands include Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Adidas and Levi's. Amazon is already one of the biggest apparel sellers in the US and continues to invest in its European fashion business.​

Finally, in the Food & Beverage sector, Costa Coffee announced that its LFLs rose 1.1% in the 13 weeks to June 1, compared with a 2.6% increase last year. Total sales rose 8.7%. In an attempt to move away from the high street, Costa is turning to new store formats, such as travel stores and drive-thru stores. Elsewhere, Sainsbury’s has partnered with healthy food and juice bar business Crussh, who will open its first counter inside a supermarket at Sainsbury's Pimlico store. Sainsbury’s already has Sushi Gourmet and Patisserie Valerie concessions in some if its larger stores, as well as Argos and Habitiat counters. In another development for the sector, McDonald’s has partnered with UberEats and is trialling its home delivery service in London, Leeds and Nottingham.​

Read more about different Food & Beverage concepts, changing eating habits, and tech shifts within the Food & Beverage sector in ICSC's latest report, authored by JLL; The Successful Integration of Food & Beverage Within Retail Real Estate.​

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