Whole Foods Market narrowed its UK pre-tax losses by more than £30m in 2009 despite the downturn and even though sales fell by more than 11% to £43m.

The UK arm of the US organic giant reported a loss of £4.3m for the year ending 27 September 2009, compared with £35.9m for the previous year.

The company attributed continuing operational losses to the challenging retail environment and said a store closure in Q4 2008 contributed to the overall decline in volume.

Changes to merchandising, product mix and pricing would help drive improvements in its financial results, it claimed.

The company said it was pursuing expansion opportunities in greater London despite the difficult real estate climate. It is also understood to be seeking sites outside the capital and is thought to be close to securing a site near Glasgow.

Whole Foods opened a 80,000 sq ft store in Ken­sing­ton High Street in June 2007. The store was criticised for its lack of car parking and a costly seafood counter and Cham­pagne and oyster bar, which were subsequently scrapped.

Read more
Whole Foods Market plans to head north (12 June 2010)
Whole Foods beware - Union Market is set to be new kid in town (5 June 2010)