Bupa plans health shops

Private healthcare group switches attack to high street with its plan for stores aimed at women

Bupa, the UK’s largest private healthcare company, is looking at opening its own high street stores in a move which would be a first for this sector in the UK.

The stores are expected to provide a range of preventative healthcare products and services aimed at women and are likely to include health spas, screening programmes, skincare products and massage.

Bupa, which claims a 45 per cent share of the private healthcare market, is increasingly targeting different sectors, focusing on fitness for young members, insurance for holidaymakers and the welfare of older generations.

Last year, the company linked up to a network of 240 health and fitness clubs, which according to marketing director Bruce Tranter is part of the company’s increasing commitment to preventative medicine.

Tranter says: “Prevention should receive much more attention. We want to encourage Bupa mem bers to look after their health by staying fit.”

Bupa runs a health audit on working conditions, stress management programmes and health screening services.

Last year the company launched a loyalty scheme which enables its 3 million members to save on Bupa products.

It is unclear how many of the new outlets there will be in the UK or where they will be located.

A spokeswoman for Bupa will not confirm or deny the retail plans but says the company is always looking to develop new business opportunities.

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