Simplyhealth to close The Unlimited Company stores
Everyday healthcare provider Simplyhealth announces that it has taken the difficult decision to close its store based retail proposition, developed as The Unlimited Company.
Ten stores will close immediately, including seven that are branded The Unlimited Company as well as three that operate under the Independent Living and Collins Care brands. The ten stores are located in Andover, Bristol, Bicester, Blackburn, Burnham, Droitwich, Leeds, Morton Park, Norwich and Radstock. Five other stores that fall under the Care and Mobility banner will remain open while a possible sale of this part of the business is considered.
The Unlimited Company proposition was developed in 2016 as an innovative retail format to provide better support to an ageing population, people with mobility requirements and their carers. Its approach centred on well-designed stores offering a wide and more appealing range of products, complemented by dedicated online and in-the-field expertise providing high levels of service and advice.
Since then we have seen a real shift in the requirements of customers and a wider availability of mobility products being provided by large general retailers and online providers which has changed the future sustainability of the current proposition.
A total of 85 employees, [including those at Care and Mobility] will be affected and we will be supporting them individually and exploring the available options with them. The Unlimited Company will fulfil all orders that have already been placed and will continue to support customers, initially contacting them over the coming days.
Simplyhealth will continue to innovate in this space, exploring different ways to meet the growing demand for advice and guidance in the health and care markets. We have already developed Simplyhealth Care for Life, an online service providing a wide range of guidance, from access to legal, financial, care at home and care home information to finding a trusted trader or localised support services and help groups close to home.
This is not the outcome we wanted when we created The Unlimited Company proposition. It was a very difficult decision to make, not just taking into account the thousands of customers that we have helped but because our own people will be affected. However, we remain committed to ensuring that people who need help with mobility or caring get the best advice and products possible.
As someone with a disability myself I know there is a need for better support networks for people. Unfortunately it has become clear that physical shops are not a viable way forward for Simplyhealth and from a business viewpoint we have to ensure we look at better ways of providing people with the support they need.
We understand that health and care is one journey for customers and we will continue to focus on how best to meet their needs, both on our own, and by working with partners. Our new online eldercare guidance and advice proposition, Care for Life, which we launched as an employee benefit last week, is just one example of how we’re aiming to meet changing healthcare needs by being innovative and collaborative.
Customers with any queries can contact a dedicated team on 0808 271 6481.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Simplyhealth entered the mobility market in 2006, through its purchase of Totally Active, to help people find the products they need to live independently. In 2014, the company committed to investing more in this area to meet growing demand, leading to the development of The Unlimited Company in 2016.
Simplyhealth will continue to support people with their everyday health as the UK’s leading provider of health cash plans, dental payment plans and pet health plans, as it has done since 1872.
Simplyhealth is an everyday health company, helping you, your family and your pets stay in the best possible health, so you can continue to make the most of life through better everyday health. From everyday health plans, dental plans and pet health plans, to support and advice, we can help you take your health in your hands.
Our purpose is to help people make the most of life through better everyday health. Our corporate giving is a key part of delivering that purpose and honouring our heritage. That’s why we donate 10% of our pre-tax profits to charity every year, supporting health-related charities which are dedicated to helping people with everyday health conditions.
In 2016 we donated £1.6 m to over 20 different charities including Revitalise, Music in Hospitals, Brainwave Centre, British Lung Foundation and Rainbow Trust.
For further information:
Laura Miller or Elisa Mirra
0344 579 2489 / 0344 579 2394