// Planet Organic wants to double store numbers in 4 years
// It currently has 7 grocery stores and plans to have 18 within 5 years
// Planet Organic’s sales jumped 8% to £35.1m for the year despite a challenging retail backdrop
Planet Organic has announced plans to double its store numbers over the next four years as it defies the current challenges plaguing UK retail.
The grocery retailer has seen sales surge in recent years thanks to rising demand for ethical, sustainable and healthy products.
The retailer said it intends to open at least 10 stores over the next five years, expanding its portfolio to around 18 sites. It currently has seven stores.
“We see a retailer like ourselves being a strong part of the high street offering for many years to come,” Planet Organic chairman Ben Thomson said.
“We are in talks over four potential locations at the minute. We don’t know if these will all come off, but there is a clear appetite from landlords to bring in our stores.
“Christmas was good for us and January has started really strong as well, so we have a great platform for 2020.”
Planet Organic kicked off its expansion plan in August last year with the opening of a new site in Queens Park as it continues to focus on family-oriented London locations to deliver success.
Growth plans have been driven by fresh capital after Scotland-based private equity firm Inverleith LLP bought majority ownership of the retailer in 2018.
The company has since driven funds into Planet Organic’s expansion efforts, seeing the company swing to a loss for the year to August 2019, as it continues to target “two openings per year” for the foreseeable future.
Sales at the grocer jumped eight per cent to £35.1 million for the year despite the challenging retail backdrop.
Thomson said Planet Organic’s performance has continued to improve into the current year, hailing its performance over Christmas and January.
“We are odd in retail in that we tend to do very well in January,” he said.
“Veganuary, health kicks, dieting efforts at the start of the year are all things that tie very well to our brand and the products we sell.
“We are growing with the trend for healthy, organic, plant-based food.
“We are already where the trend is growing so that puts in a great position growth-wise – everyone knows demand for these products is out there.”
The wider supermarket sector has been under pressure in recent years, with the Big 4 grocers all reporting subdued sales in recent months amid pressure from German discounters Aldi and Lidl.
Rival grocery chains have looked towards healthier food trends and sustainability initiatives in a bid to improve sales performance.
with PA Wires