UK health and wellbeing retailer Planet Organic has completed a takeover of As Nature Intended in a deal which makes it the largest specialist organic grocer in the country.
The acquisition of As Nature Intended’s chain of seven London-based organic and natural food stores is expected to be followed by the opening of ten further stores in the Greater London area in the next five years.
Planet Organic, founded in 1995, opened a new store in Queen’s Park, North London, in 2019, taking its shop count to eight.
Inverleith LLP became the firm’s majority shareholder to help expand the company’s growth in 2018.
Planet Organic’s Chairman, Ben Thomson, says: “This deal allows us to further the mission of Planet Organic to provide food and products that are healthy for our customers as well as healthy for the planet.
“We share a similar outlook to As Nature Intended, a company which, like Planet Organic, promotes wellness with high environmental standards.
“Both organisations believe the future of High Street retailing is in providing experience-based shopping for the communities where we are located.
“In the short term our primary focus is to make sure we are there to support our customers, and the customers of our newly-acquired stores, through the coronavirus outbreak.
“We have a very knowledgeable staff who can help answer questions on what foods, supplements and lifestyle changes we can make to help to boost immunity and general wellbeing.
“In the longer term this acquisition allows Planet Organic to grow quickly into locations we have already identified as ideal for our brand.
“With the addition of As Nature Intended stores, we will be the largest organic grocery chain in the UK with plans to grow further as the popularity of healthy foods continues.”
Caroline Gooding, As Nature Intended owner and CEO, who now steps down from her role, said: “Planet Organic is an amazingly complementary business, operating similar stores in London, with limited overlap with our own premises, and most importantly pursuing a similar mission and sharing our core values.
“While I am naturally sad to have reached the end of this 20-year adventure, I firmly believe that stepping back now is in the best interests of the As Nature Intended business, my colleagues and our customers.
“I am confident that I am passing the company into highly capable and committed hands, and that its new owners will be able to make the most of the opportunities for what now becomes the biggest and best operator in this market.”