LONDON, United Kingdom — Health food store Planet Organic is headed for expansion following its sale to Scottish private equity firm Inverleith, in a deal rumoured to be worth £15m.
The London-based supermarket, food-to-go chain and online retailer, has announced it will more than double its current portfolio of stores over the next 5 years, in what is “an interesting time of change for the high street with shoppers wanting more community-based shopping”.
According to Ben Thomson, Chairman of Inverleith LLP: “Consumers are looking for an experience when they shop and for real knowledge about the products offered. They care deeply about the quality and provenance of products they buy and increasingly search for items which help them lead a holistic healthy lifestyle.”
As a pioneer in the organic supermarket segment in the UK, Planet Organic “has a fantastic depth of knowledge and heritage in food, beauty and health. This is the sort of shopping that is the future of the high street and we are pleased to be helping Planet Organic to open in other locations around London,” he added.
Founded in 1991 by Renée Elliott, Planet Organic currently has seven stores across London, three in the centre of the capital at Devonshire Square, Torrington Place and Tottenham Court Road and a further four at Muswell Hill, Wandsworth, Westbourne Grove and Islington. In addition, the company delivers nationwide via its website and offers a popular collect in store service for the communities near the London stores.
Elliott, who was originally inspired by food stores in her native Boston, Massachusetts has been pivotal in helping to revamp the image of health foods in the UK. Having already taken a step back from the company to co-found Beluga Bean, an in-person and online business and life-skills academy for women, the entrepreneur is set to reduce her holding in the business more formally.
Joining the Board following the acquisition, Stella Morse, CFO of Inverleith LLP will support Planet Organic in its mission to take natural and organic products to an ever-increasing number of consumers, through retail and online.
The existing management team, led by Planet Organic Chief Executive Peter Marsh, will continue to work together to cement the brand’s unique selling point and strong market position at the forefront of the natural and organic movement in the United Kingdom — a category which continues to expand.
“The last store we opened was on Tottenham Court Road in 2015, and the ability to now look at opening three or four new sites a year is really exciting,” commented Marsh. “Most of our employees have been at Planet Organic for many years and are looking forward to serving wider London communities.”