He may be one of the UK's most successful fine food retailers, but Edwin Booth is not above admitting he can still learn from others.

The chairman of 160-year-old northern chain Booths said this week that he had been wowed by the new kid on the block - Whole Foods Market's 80,000 sq ft Kensington store.

"The amount of theatre was fantastic," he said. "From the humidor for the cheese, to the fact you can make your own peanut butter, the whole thing looked great. There are a few things we can look at, particularly in terms of display."

But Booth admitted his customers would not pay the prices being charged by Whole Foods Market. He also warned its US owners to brace themselves for making a big loss in the first 12 months. "All stores do in the first year," he said, "but obviously wastage will be a big issue considering the nature of the products and the complex displays."

Other industry sources agreed that while displays of produce piled high were impressive, wastage was likely to be much higher than in most supermarkets.

One also said that the store was inconvenient, as it had no car park and it was laid out over five floors.