US grocer Whole Foods Market has begun adapting the layout and product offer at its London flagship in an attempt to ramp up sales.
The Kensington High Street shop, which opened just two years ago, is revamping the basement, according to a source. Among other changes, the organic food chain has closed its in-store pie shop and added a coffee counter. The fish shop has been reduced in size and an area at the rear of the building has been earmarked for a cookery school. The source added that the shop is upping the amount of ambient food it stocks to cut back on fresh food waste.
Whole Foods debuted in the UK to much fanfare but the recession hit its prospects and it suffered a £10m loss in its first year.
The changes are thought to be a result of the appointment of Jeff Turnas as UK regional president at the beginning of the year. He is understood to have been given a brief to improve performance across the three-floor, 80,000 sq ft shop, which formally housed department store Barkers of Kensington.
Whole Foods is also expected to sign leases imminently on its first mainland European stores, as falling property prices have meant expansion is easier than when it first arrived in the UK.
Whole Foods declined to comment on the in-store changes.