LONDON — Leading health and wellness retailer Holland & Barrett has selected The Academy as its retained PR agency in the UK, after a competitive pitch.

The agency has been awarded the six-figure account to “build relevance and attract new customers” to the 150-year-old retailer online and across its nationwide network of stores. Holland & Barrett had previously worked with Ashfield Health group agency Pegasus (now Mind+Matter) for 20 years. 

The retailer, which sells vitamins, minerals, nutritional supplements and health foods, has around 1,600 stores in 18 countries, including 800 stores in the UK and Ireland. It recently announced it would be opening120 stores in Greece, Romania and Bulgaria via a strategic partnership with retail group Fourlis.

Holland & Barrett director of communications Clare Stafford said: “We were looking for a strategic and creative partner that shared our vision for communication and to help us make wellness a way of life for everyone. We were immediately impressed by the way The Academy tackled our brief. We are delighted to be working with them.”

The Academy team will be developing thought leadership and press office campaigns to support the retailer’s growth plans and its ongoing store transformation programme.

Mitch Kaye, chief executive and co-founder at The Academy, added: “Holland & Barrett is an iconic brand with an incredible history. But their time is now, and we feel really proud to have been trusted with helping to write the next chapter of their story with them.”

The pitch process was run by Andrew Bloch, the co-founder of Frank who is now head of PR for AAR. Other recent account wins for The Academy include PizzaExpress and Canary Wharf Group