THS takeover worries independents

Two of the three national health food wholesalers are now owned by the same company – Health Made Easy. The acquisition of The Health Store to sit alongside Tree of Life was confirmed on October 22 following shareholder approval. The third national wholesaler is the co-operative Suma.

The new owners and THS itself have tried to reassure customers that the two wholesalers will operate independently but retailers will be concerned that a future consolidation could harm their discounts.

THS Sales & Marketing Director Paul Rideout, replying to one concerned retailer on social media, said: “We are not merging with Tree of Life. Just like Higher Nature supplements and Peppersmiths we are simply now all part of the same group, the Health Made Easy Group Ltd. All the businesses will operate independently of each other.”

Managing Director Tim Ryan added: “We’re confident that the deal made with Health Made Easy will allow us to drive forward changes and benefits that will ensure we can keep delivering for the needs of our customers.”

And Mike Cole, Chairman of Health Made Easy, said: “We will continue to operate both businesses as separate entities, which will provide benefits of scale across all channels and enable us to improve our offer to our customers, suppliers and consumers alike.”

However, a social media poll carried out by Better Retailing Magazine revealed that some retailers remain concerned about the future of their wholesale supplies. Comments are welcome by email to the editor, Alistair@jfnproductions.co.uk

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