Whole Foods Market is to open a new store just outside Cheltenham town centre, marking its first foray in England beyond the capital.
The 27,000 sq ft retail park site – a former Homebase – also represents the first real attempt by the organic specialist to repeat its US formula on this side of the Atlantic.
“This looks like a ‘come out of town, park and do a big shop’ type of store,” said John Farrand, director of the Guild of Fine Food.
Due to be open in the autumn of 2012, the supermarket is located within a few miles of a large Waitrose and the independent Daylesford Organic shop.
“It is a fantastic location,” said Kantar analyst Bryan Roberts. “The west of England is relatively affluent and there is significant interest in more ethical and organic food.”
Whole Foods has so far failed to makes its five existing UK stores profitable. Accounts published earlier in the month with Companies House revealed that losses for the year ending 26 September 2010 were £3.09m, a slight reduction from the £4.3m loss sustained the previous year.
In addition to the Cheltenham site, Whole Foods Market has three new UK supermarkets in the pipeline, in Glasgow, Fulham Broadway and Richmond upon Thames.
Whole Foods Market to open in trendy Fulham (5 May 2011)