Posted on September 22, 2020
Discount Health Store
Lifeplan’s Retailer of the Month – September 2020
Based in the South of England, Discount Health Store has three stores in Westbourne, Winton and Poole.
The store was originally destined to become a sandwich shop, however that was not meant to be due to limitations in the Dolphin Centre in Poole so instead, in 1983, founders Robert and Sonja Marriott decided to turn their hand to health foods, mainly selling cod liver oil, nuts and seeds. As it turned out, it was a very good decision as the Poole store became so successful, they went on to open two further stores, Westbourne in 2000 followed by the Winton Store in 2001.
We recently spoke with Sharon Freeman (pictured below) who is now a co-owner of the business, along with the company accountant, Steven Kirby. Sharon has been working for the company for more than 25 years having originally joined as a part time sales assistant at the Poole branch.
Customers mean everything to Discount Health Store. With 3 stores in very different areas, they all have their own demographic, from students to retirees and everyone in-between. The teams in each of the three stores are extremely knowledgeable and very willing to help their customers, whatever their individual needs may be. Health and wellbeing is very important to their customers and they have seen a big increase in recent years of people taking more of an active interest in their own health. Sharon says that they have been aware of this change taking place and have worked hard to offer a range of supplements to help anyone who comes through their doors.
During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Sharon said it became really obvious very quickly that she would need to adapt to the change in demand and the change in circumstances. As the staff in all 3 shops were furloughed, family members had to step in and work very hard to keep the business going. They set up a delivery service to help provide people with what they needed during this difficult period and managed to remain on hand in their store in Westbourne, talking to people through the windows and doors offering support and advice. It was a very stressful time for all involved. They have now also noticed a rise in new customers coming to their stores and the introduction of a delivery service remains which has become very popular.
With the global increase in sales of vitamins and mineral supplements, Sharon and her team have seen a real demand for products to support immune health which they have been actively supporting in order to service their customers. A very popular loyalty scheme has been in place for a couple of years and this has helped increase sales.
Lifeplan has a large presence in the Discount Health Stores, Sharon noted “people go for a general range of Lifeplan products, the best seller being Joint Action Turmeric Formula which really sells itself”.
We asked Sharon how it felt to be our retailer of the month and she said “it feels amazing to be recognised for their brand loyalty to Lifeplan and as one of the longest running independent chains still operating, it is really appreciated”
Lifeplan is proud to have a great relationship with Discount Health Stores which has been ongoing for around 30 years and we are very happy to support them by providing their customers with the vitamins and minerals they need.
We think they really deserve the recognition of being our retailer of the month for their hard work over the many years and also through their efforts through the recent pandemic.
In loving memory of
Sonja Marriott 1938 – 2016
Robert Marriott 1945-2019