Healthy food retailer Holland & Barrett has recruited Mark Fabes (on left) as CIO. In recent years Fabes has led business technology at fast food giant McDonald’s and most recently Starbucks the coffee shop chain.
Holland & Barrett was acquired by Russian investors in June 2017. L1 Retail acquired the midlands based retailer from its parent firm Nature’s Bounty, itself owned by private equity firm Carlyle. Fellow CIO Ian Cohen joined transport services provider Addison Lee in August, the London headquartered business is under Carlyle ownership.
Retail industry observers believe the health and wellness market is set for growth both in traditional and online retail.
Holland & Barrett was founded in Nuneaton, Warwickshire in 1870 and is the largest health food retailer in Europe with 1,150 locations and a workforce of over 4000.
Fabes joins Holland & Barrett from Starbucks where he was Vice President (VP) for technology across the EMEA region from November 2015. In January 2017 investment experts at bankers Nomura were predicting that Starbucks would eclipse McDonald’s as the world’s largest restaurant group, possibly in 2017. Fabes was UK IT Director for McDonald’s for just under six years before he joined its challenger Starbucks. Before joining the burger chain famed for its golden arches Fabes was Director of Business Support Systems with Bedfordshire headquartered Whitbread Group. Whitbread owns and operates the Costa Coffee chain as well as Premier Inn hotels and a series of hospitality brands. Recently Whitbread has appointed a number of interim and permanent business technology leaders. Fabes began his customer facing career with department store chain Allders, which once went head to head with Debenhams and Marks & Spencer but Allders was one of a series of retailers that ceased trading in 2013 as the recession and online shopping took its toll.