Planet Organic Muswell Hill

Source: Planet Organic

The closure would leave the chain nine stores, all in London.

Planet Organic is set to close its Balham store in London after failing to reach an agreement with Iceland over its lease. 

The store was not included among the closures previously announced as part of Renée Elliott’s deal in April to buy back the chain she founded.

Signs appeared in the store window over the weekend announcing the closure this week and apologising to customers.

“We are very sorry to announce that our Balham store will be closed and surrendered to the landlord on 13 September 2023,” the notice said.

“Over the last few months, we’ve tried to arrange a new lease with Iceland, the landlord, but sadly this wasn’t possible.” It said the store would try to stock as full a range as possible until it shuts.

Planet Organic Balham, sign

Source: The Grocer

The shop apologised to customers over the closure

The closure would leave Planet Organic with nine stores, all in London. The Grocer understands that all affected staff members are to move other Planet Organic stores.

It is not clear whether Planet Organic will look to replace the site, and what the closure could mean for Elliott’s plan to turn around the chain she rescued from administration in a last minute deal earlier this year.

The original transaction did not include four “unprofitable” stores in Henley, Teddington, Bermondsey and Tottenham Court Road, which all closed immediately.

In an exclusive interview with The Grocer in May, Elliott said she intended to return the chain to its “core values”, including an emphasis on its grocery offer, such as food to go, health foods and juice bars.

She told suppliers in July that part of her turnaround strategy included a range review of its entire stock. Elliott said she was in the process of creating a business plan for the financial year from September 2023, but this did not immediately include opening new stores.

“Our strategy is not to expand for now, but to stabilise. We’ve been reducing costs, rebuilding supply chain and onboarding most of our suppliers,” Elliott said at the time.

The Grocer has approached Elliott and Iceland Foods for comment.