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Building together

Len Glenville
Chair, Health Stores UK

The Health Stores UK name, rebranded after 90 years as the NAHS, is quickly gaining recognition as we step up our trade and consumer marketing programmes.

Part of the thinking behind the rebrand was to create a more memorable name and logo that would make us more visible in the market and stick in the minds of politicians and change-makers. So it’s been great to see the Health Stores UK name and logo appearing regularly across the trade press and in social media as we have gained coverage on a range of recent initiatives, including a concerted effort to secure more financial support for independent retailers (which included writing to the Prime Minister) during the energy and cost of living crisis.

We’ve also been working away behind the scenes on behalf of our members. For example, myself and co-chair Melanie Beard regularly take part in meetings organised by the Independent Retail Consortium, where we are able to share knowledge and extend our influence. We’ve also been studying latest consumer behaviour research from specialist analysts such as Springboard and feeding back valuable insights to members.

Our 2023 campaigns kicked off in January with an initiative aimed at encouraging specialist natural products brands to make it clear in their advertising that their products are available in independent health stores (not just in Boots and Superdrug!). To make this as easy as possible for brands, we created a set of ‘badges’ announcing ‘Available from your local Health Store’. We’ve been delighted at the creative use brands have made of the artwork, and we look forward to others getting on board with the initiative.

In March we welcomed pioneering ethical personal care brand Faith In Nature on board as a Health Stores UK Partner. The company sees the move as a “natural partnership” for a brand that believes that independents play “an important role in sustainability and the communities they serve” and states that it wants to do “everything we can to support them through increasingly difficult times”. For our part we are delighted that such a high-profile name in the natural products sector is joining Health Stores UK’s growing ranks of Partners and Affiliates, who provide such valuable support for the work we do.

As I write, the countdown to this year’s NOPEX show at ExCel in London is well underway and we are making final preparations for Health Stores UK’s presence at the event. We have a much bigger stand this year, with plenty of space for members, other retailers and supporters to chat with the team.

On the Sunday (now named Independent Day), we will be hosting a visit from our friends and colleagues at Health Stores Ireland and sharing knowledge and insights over coffee. We’ll also be staging a series of exclusive one-to-one advice sessions on the stand, featuring some of the prominent retail experts speaking at this year’s NOPEX.

And we’ll have a regular video presence in the seminar theatres, in which we’ll be talking about the multiple benefits of Health Stores UK membership. Come and visit us on stand K65 – we’re just a short distance from the main cafe.

We move into 2023 with a little more optimism than in recent years. But we know that very significant challenges remain for our industry and our businesses. It has never been more important to work together as an industry. Please think about joining us (membership costs just £21 per month) – and help us build a stronger independent health food retail sector together!

Contact [email protected] or call 01875 341 408 for details.

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