Holland & Barrett in health expert shift

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Health product retailer Holland & Barrett is shifting the focus of its marketing away from price promotions to the expertise of its staff, in an effort to differentiate itself from supermarket chains.

Phil Geary, group marketing director of Holland & Barrett parent company NBTY Europe, said the activity was -intended to demonstrate that although supermarkets offer cheap vitamins, ‘they can’t compete with us on customer advice or product knowledge’.

Holland & Barrett will launch a campaign in 2012 highlighting the fact that its staff are trained to National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) standard. It will position the retailer as offering a ‘sincere’ level of service, with staff taking the time to understand -customers’ lifestyles.

Geary claimed that the NVQ standard of training meant customers would not be -offered a ‘quick fix’. He added that the drawback for consumers of buying health products at supermarkets is that they have to undertake research themselves.

This week the retailer is rolling out a TV campaign, by Big Communications, to raise awareness of its Rewards for Life loyalty scheme. It is hoped that the scheme will enable more targeted marketing by segmenting its customer base.

Geary also suggested that the company’s sexual health products, which are currently sold only online, could start appearing in stores next year.

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