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Holland & Barrett

Health & Wellness retailer Holland & Barrett boost in-store
knowledge retention and save £90k a year

Holland & Barrett is one of the world’s leading health and wellness retailers, with over 1,000 stores spanning 16 countries all over the globe.

They are highly committed to providing their colleagues with comprehensive training, giving them the knowledge and confidence to provide the best advice to customers.

Their ‘Qualified to Advise’ training programme for in-store colleagues ensures they can provide customers with clear, concise and up-to-date information to make informed decisions about the nutritional supplements they use.

Delivering high quality training to thousands of colleagues across so many retail locations requires an e-learning platform that’s up to the job.

  • Customer: Holland & Barrett
  • Industry: Health and wellness
  • Industry: 50,000 employees
  • Location: UK
  • Solution: Totara
Holland & Barrett - Totara
"We were very thorough in the way we analysed the market for a new LMS. We could have just found three solutions and picked the best. But to prove the value of what we wanted beforehand – it was definitely time well-spent."

Holland & Barrett.

Robert Sidley, Head of Training, Content and Quality

The challenge

Before teaming up with us at Hubken, Holland & Barrett were already using a bespoke built e-learning system – used by them alone. Despite being tailor made though it had become outdated and was no longer fit for purpose.

The old LMS was essentially a repository of files and documents – a system with no effective reporting functions, where their admin teams were spending 8 working days of each month on manually processing their reports.

And to top it all off, it had proven to be a costly platform – despite the missing functionality.

With plans to continue their highly successful international expansion, Holland & Barrett needed a modern learning solution that could help them to:

  • Get the insights and advanced reporting they need to analyse their training progress, so they can keep improving and refining their learning
  • Deliver their award-shortlisted ‘Qualified to Advise (QTA)’ training programme to colleagues across the country
  • Hit their LMS launch deadline in a short timeframe
  • And reduce their spending on training – especially as they continue to expand internationally.

Why Hubken?

Sourcing a solution that delivered the power and flexibility that Holland & Barrett were looking for meant looking at a variety of different systems including off-the-self ‘closed source’ solutions as well as the managed open-source solutions provided by Hubken Group.

If Holland & Barrett had chosen an off-the-shelf learning solution, they would have been faced with a basic cost of around £120k (with additional development costs on top of that) and a longer implementation lead-time.

With a Hubken Totara Learn Solution, they were able to get all of the core functionality they needed, plus the extra flexibility that Totara allows – all for a fraction of the cost of an off-the-shelf product.

Some LMS providers offered only short-term or no ongoing support and did not offer essential services such as LMS site hosting and support.

Holland & Barrett wanted the assurance that comes with ongoing technical support to keep their L&D programmes online and running smoothly.

After a thorough analysis of the options, Holland & Barrett chose Hubken’s Totara Learn Solution as the best path forward – matching the flexible approach of Totara with the high-level expertise and dedicated service of an experienced and attentive team.

The solution


With a carefully considered decision in place, Holland & Barrett were ready to start the next stage of their e-learning journey.

They needed their new Totara Learn solution to be up and running in time for the new year – to ensure a seamless migration, and to make sure their teams had enough time to populate their new system with their specialised learning content before their intended launch in January 2020.

And the result?

With Hubken by their side, Holland & Barrett had a new LMS ready in just 6 weeks.

But when they started to put their new platform into practice, they discovered a whole host of additional benefits.

With a flexible Totara Learn solution, Holland & Barrett were able to:

  • Use advanced statistics to analyse the answers to their tests and assessments – helping them to identify and improve the under-performing parts of their training
  • Reduce their reliance on physical training locations – instead training their colleagues online through in-store video conferencing
  • Give their colleagues a quick and easy way to access important information from home – a crucial feature during the Covid-19 lockdown that went beyond the intended use of Totara as an e-learning platform
  • Save money on the learning content they were previously buying
  • Delivering a full performance review process across the entire business

The results

Holland & Barrett went live with their new system in January 2020.
And they’re already seeing the massive benefits of a flexible, open-source system:


Increase in knowledge rates

Their colleague’s knowledge retention rates have jumped up by 20% (from 53% to 73%)


Achieved this business goal

Their managers and teams are saving valuable time with remote learning and video conferencing


Savings per year

They are saving £90k per year – simply by switching to a Hubken Totara Learn Solution

Ready to see what a Hubken Totara solution can do for you?

We've helped all kinds of businesses in the retail sector get up and running with a smooth transition into a flexible new LMS – from top national chains to dozens of smaller companies and individual SMEs.

So if you're looking to follow the success of Holland & Barrett – by reducing your costs, improving your training performance, and empowering your colleagues with a modern LMS – give us a call and we'll show you everything we can do.


See what’s included as standard with Hubken

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