Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market operates seven physical stores in the UK

Whole Foods Market UK’s loss has widened to £17.3m in 2021 from £15.2m the year before as the business continued battling the effects of the pandemic and suppy chain crisis.

Its full-year turnover dropped by 4% to £94.3m (compared with £98.8m in 2020) on decreased demand during Covid-19 lockdowns and a fall in tourism levels, it said.

The Amazon-owned company, which files its results under the name Fresh & Wild, saw gross profit in the year ended 31 December 2021 fall to £35m from £38.2m the year before.

Gross profit margin also decreased to 37% (from 39%) due to coronavirus-linked impacts and increased supply chain costs.

“The Covid-19 pandemic and resulting global disruptions have continued to affect our business, as well as those of our customers and suppliers,” it said in its earnings statement.

“To serve our customers while also providing for the safety of our employees and service providers, we have adapted numerous aspects of our logistics, transportation, supply chain and purchasing processes.”

Whole Foods partnered with Deliveroo during the pandemic last year as it shifted to online due to decreased footfall in stores. However, it still felt the hit in its 2021 financial sheets.

The company said the impact of the pandemic and the actions taken in response to it had “varying effects” on its 2021 financial results, and that it was currently “not possible to determine” any future consequences linked to its ripple effect.

Whole Foods Market, which was bought by the e-commerce giant in 2017 in a £13bn deal, currently operates seven bricks-and-mortar stores in the UK.

Amazon’s own grocery business is thriving in the UK market – Amazon Fresh recently took on the country’s biggest supermarket with a new Tesco price-match campaign, showcasing its bold ambitions to disrupt the national grocery market.