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Health & Beauty

Former Argos boss hired as chairman of Holland & Barrett

Health and wellbeing retailer Holland & Barrett has appointed John Walden as chairman of its board of directors.

Walden said he will work closely with the group’s management team on an “ambitious” strategic plan to build digital retail leadership and a global platform for successfully delivering its products and services.

He was previously the managing director of Argos and, from 2014 to 2016, CEO of its parent company Home Retail Group (HRG). During 2016, John led the sale of HRG’s Homebase unit to Wesfarmers, and subsequently the sale of Argos to supermarket giant Sainsbury.

Commenting on his appointment, Walden said: “I am delighted to work more closely with Holland & Barrett as its new chairman. Like other retailers, it is facing into rapid changes in its markets including accelerating digital channel usage, rising customer service standards, increasing product commoditisation, and technological innovation of new products and services.

“It must change quickly and substantially to keep pace with its consumers and markets. Yet Holland & Barrett is a strong retail business with a trusted brand, and participating in a growing health and wellness sector. With this foundation, I am optimistic about our opportunities to develop winning strategies and continue to grow.”

The retailer also announced its results for the financial year ending 30 September 2018, which revealed a total sales growth of 7.1%, digital sales increasing by 32.2% and its 38th consecutive quarter of positive like-for-like sales.

Commenting on the results, CEO Peter Aldis said: “I am pleased by the strong performance in the business this year. We have just completed our 38th consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales growth, which is a milestone achievement we are very proud of.

“I am delighted that we have managed to attract a number of strong hires to the executive board over the last 12 months and am pleased by how well the team has come together in a short space of time.”

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