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Why health food retailers can succeed while the High Street suffers

Face-to-face advice from independent health store staff is the foremost factor in keeping high street stores in rude health while the number of casualties in other sectors continues to rise.

Reports two years ago that 46% of Britons say they take vitamins and minerals on a daily basis (Mintel) show that this is a strong segment which is destined to continue its upwards trajectory, according to the boss of a data marketing company.

The global dietary supplements market size was valued at $133.1 billion in 2016 and is projected to accelerate at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.6% from 2016 to 2024, says Andy Wood, chairman of Go Inspire Insight. And almost 30% of all organic sales now take place online or on the high street, with the remaining share in supermarkets.

“As a result, while health food retailers face the same pressures as their colleagues when it comes to the rising cost of energy, business rates and Brexit-fuelled inflation, bricks and mortar is still delivering important results,” he says. “It is critical therefore that health food retailers hold fast and focus on a few simple measures to ensure that the return on their investment in physical stores continues to increase and they do not fall behind online competition.”

Among these measures is using all available channels to promote a store’s business. “Although consumers spend a lot of time on digital channels, researching and comparing offers for example, this does not necessarily mean that their customer journey also ends online,” he says. “In fact, independent retailers are still very strong contenders for consumer purchases in health food and need to ensure that they reflect a mix of traditional and digital channels in their marketing and continue to promote in-store experiences.”

Wood will give a six-point plan for health stores to breathe new life into their sales in the Winter issue of Better Retailing Magazineregister for your copy here.

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