Holland & Barrett is trialling fitness drills in ten stores, as the health and beauty retailer attempts to improve the in-store environment and boost conversion rates.

The three-minute fitness drills are scheduled to happen twice a day, where staff encourage customers to join in with stretches, star jumps and lunges.

The ten stores have also had radios installed to play “feel-good” pop and classical music, as well as tell customers about promotions in store. Scent dispensers are also being used to create a particular environment and the retailer is trialling up to seven scents - including freshly cut grass - to give the retailer a “unique” smell.

Holland & Barrett, which is owned by NBTY Europe, plans to roll out the most successful initiatives nationwide next year.

NBTY Europe director of brand and retail marketing Phil Geary said: “We want customers to engage with the brand on a longer term relationship, not just when they have got a cold and they need to visit as a preventative measure but as a way to enhance their health.

“We’re really trying to improve conversion rates in-store.”

Geary said customers are not too embarrassed to take part in the fitness drills.

“It’s a very simplistic drill to show people they don’t need to make huge changes to be healthy,” Geary said. “Hopefully customers will walk out of the store feeling a bit fitter.”

He added that health food stores have a unique scent that he described as “beans and sandals”. Geary said he expected the new scents, which include freshly cut grass and bread-making, to make customers feel more comfortable.

But he said Holland & Barrett is “bracing” itself for a “difficult” trading period over Christmas.

“Currently, we’re not unhappy with trading but it could be better,” he said.