• Holland & Barrett shelves US openings to focus on expansion in Scandinavia 
  • Retailer looking to “build quickly” in the region
  • Sources suggest private equity owner will not sell until US presence is established

Holland & Barrett has shelved plans to launch in the US as it looks to focus on expansion in Scandinavia, Retail Week can reveal.

The retailer, part of NBTY which is itself owned by US private equity firm The Carlyle Group, said last year it planned to open two stores in New York.  

Boss Peter Aldis said at the time it had agreed terms on one store in the new World Trade Center and another in central Manhattan.

However a Holland & Barrett spokesman told Retail Week: “The US launch has been moved down our list of priorities as we focus on rapid expansion closer to home with our Scandinavian growth strategy, which we kicked off in November last year with the opening of our first store in the prestigious Mall of Scandinavia.

“We are now looking to build quickly on that with further openings across the region.”

Reports earlier this month suggested that owner Carlyle was lining up a sale of Holland & Barrett.

However a source close to the situation told Retail Week that Carlyle will not seek to sell the business until Holland & Barrett’s US operations are up and running.  

Last month, the vitamins and health food retailer reported an 11.7% rise in full-year sales as pre-tax profits jumped 12.2% to £146m.

Separately, it has come under fire this week over its treatment of suppliers.