Whole Foods supersizes in London

Stephen Beard Jun 4, 2007
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Whole Foods supersizes in London

Stephen Beard Jun 4, 2007
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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: America’s most successful organic grocery chain is trying to take a bite out of the British market for natural foods. Whole Foods is about to open a major new store in London. Stephen Beard has the story.


STEPHEN BEARD: Britain has never seen anything like this before: Whole Foods is moving into a former department store in the affluent London district of Kensington.

There’s 80,000 square feet of space. Three whole floors piled high with what the company calls guilt-free produce — no pesticides, preservatives, sweeteners or animal cruelty involved.

But it’s only the size and scale of this operation that’s unique in Britain. Organic food is already widely available here, says analyst Robert Clarke. Whole Foods will face stiff competition from Britain’s major supermarket chains:

ROBERT CLARKE: They’ve all got organic ranges that they’ve been expanding. They’re all heavily into the marketplace. They’ve all got premium lines as well. So I think it’s a pretty crowded market.

But Whole Foods says that its Kensington superstore will be a mecca for British health food enthusiasts, and it’s planning further 30 to 40 stores around the U.K.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: America’s most successful organic grocery chain is trying to take a bite out of the British market for natural foods. Whole Foods is about to open a major new store in London. Stephen Beard has the story.


STEPHEN BEARD: Britain has never seen anything like this before: Whole Foods is moving into a former department store in the affluent London district of Kensington.

There’s 80,000 square feet of space. Three whole floors piled high with what the company calls guilt-free produce — no pesticides, preservatives, sweeteners or animal cruelty involved.

But it’s only the size and scale of this operation that’s unique in Britain. Organic food is already widely available here, says analyst Robert Clarke. Whole Foods will face stiff competition from Britain’s major supermarket chains:

ROBERT CLARKE: They’ve all got organic ranges that they’ve been expanding. They’re all heavily into the marketplace. They’ve all got premium lines as well. So I think it’s a pretty crowded market.

But Whole Foods says that its Kensington superstore will be a mecca for British health food enthusiasts, and it’s planning further 30 to 40 stores around the U.K.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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