The organic supermarket, which opened its first store in the UK on London’s Kensington High Street in June last year, has hired a further two property agencies to search for out-of-town locations, including prime A1 retail parks.
Agencies Green & Partners and Gilbert Bath have been instructed to search for sites between 20,000 and 75,000 sq ft, within an hour’s drive from central London. They will work alongside Cushman & Wakefield, which has been retained to continue searching for in-town sites in London. Its existing London store is 85,000 sq ft.
A source close to the retailer said: “Whole Foods is trading very well in Kensington and, due to the amount of space it needs, it is extending its search to out-of-town locations.
“In the US, it is a destination store and the same could happen here. If there is a store in the right location with the right demographic profile, those customers will travel to retail parks to get there.”
Whole Foods confirmed its commitment to the UK last October when it hired former Bank Fashion property director Nina Shores to spearhead its UK expansion.
The supermarket has split its requirements into three categories: metro sites of 15,000 sq ft; standard sites of 30,000 to 40,000 sq ft; and landmark sites of up to 75,000 sq ft. It also prefers sites with parking facilities.