Specialist consumer brands investor Inverleith LLP has taken a majority stake in Planet Organic, the London-based health and wellbeing supermarket, food-to-go chain and online retailer.
Inverleith has injected equity into the company with the aim of expanding the existing store footprint in London, to more than double the current portfolio of stores over the next five years.
Ben Thomson, chairman of InverleithLLP, commented: “This is an interesting time of change for the High Street with shoppers wanting more community-based shopping. Consumers are looking for an experience when they shop and for real knowledge about the products offered. They care deeply about the quality and provenance of products they buy and increasingly search for items which help them lead a holistic healthy lifestyle.
“Planet Organic is the original, oldest and best organic supermarket chain in the UK. It has a fantastic depth of knowledge and heritage in food, beauty and health. Shoppers can sit in, enjoying healthy smoothies, juices and have a bite to eat, they can take food away or they can shop for food, health and beauty products.
“This is the sort of shopping that is the future of the high street and we are pleased to be helping Planet Organic to open in other locations around London.”
Planet Organic currently has seven stores across London, three in the centre of London – in Devonshire Square, Torrington Place and Tottenham Court Road – and a further four in Muswell Hill, Wandsworth, Westbourne Grove and Islington. Planetorganic.com delivers nationwide and offers an in-store collection service for those living near the London stores.
“This is the sort of shopping that is the future of the high street”
Stella Morse, chief financial officer of Inverleith LLP, who will join the board following the acquisition, added: “As a specialist consumer brand investor with a focus on health and wellness, we look for companies that have a unique selling point and a strong defendable market position. In Planet Organic, we have a retailer and a brand which is at the forefront of the natural and organic movement in the United Kingdom, a category which continues to expand. We’re excited about the opportunity to support Planet Organic in its mission to take natural and organic products to an ever-increasing number of consumers whether that be through an engaging retail store environment or online.”
Commenting on the development, Planet Organic chief executive Peter Marsh, said: “The last store we opened was on Tottenham Court Road in 2015, and the ability to now look at opening three or four new sites a year is really exciting. Most of our employees have been at Planet Organic for many years and are looking forward to serving wider London communities.”