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Healthy Life to join Go Vita network

Australian retailer Healthy Life will join the nation’s largest health food store group, Go Vita, in the hope of strengthening the retail health channel.

GoVita has more than 135 independently-owned and operated health stores in its network. Going forward, Healthy Life’s 50-plus store network will be co-branded as GoVita & Healthy Life, and both brands will retain their current identity.

“In the face of an increasingly competitive and challenging retail environment, we believe this move will strengthen the retail health channel for the future,” said Healthy Life general manager, Craig Johnston in a statement on Tuesday.

Healthy Life Group also plans to boost growth by investing further in its private label range for export.

“By joining forces with Go Vita and shoring up the retail health channel we can both benefit from the significant growth that has seen the complementary medicine sector grow by 70 per cent in the last five years alone to an estimated $4.9 billion and the organic food market, which has grown by 88 per cent to an estimated $2.4 billion in Australia,” Healthy Life chairman Rolf Krecklenberg said.

Go Vita CEO Terry Hughes said the move is great for both parties and will give Australians easier access to premium health and wellness products and services.

“They [Healthy Life] have joined as members of Go Vita, enabling Go Vita to have a larger footprint to better serve the health & wellness sector across Australia with an increased store base just short of 180 stores nationally,” Terry Hughes CEO Go Vita told Inside Retail.

“Health food stores play a vital role in the growth of Australia’s health and wellness industry. They are the incubators and launch pads for new, innovative products onto the Australian market and are a critical part of our retail landscape; ensuring consumers have diversity of choice about what they buy, and where they shop.”

Commenting on whether there would be store closures in areas where Healthy Life/Go Vita store locations overlap Hughes said, “this will be reviewed on a case by case situation”.

“If the [Healthy Life] store is within 1km of the existing Go Vita store we will look to relocate the [Healthy Life] store.”

Inside Retail requested comment on whether there would be changes to the Healthy Life management team going forward but did not receive a response ahead of publication.

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