Whole Foods has kicked off its much-awaited UK expansion with plans for a store in Scotland next year and another in Richmond in 2013.
A source close to the situation said there are “more stores in the pipeline” for next year, and that some sites are “in legals” but not yet signed.
The upmarket US grocer, which opened its flagship store on London’s Kensington High Street to much fanfare in 2007, will open a 23,000 sq ft shop on Fenwick Road, Giffnock, an affluent area outside Glasgow. It will open in the latter half of 2011.
Whole Foods will also open a 20,000 sq ft store on Lower George Street in Richmond, in a new development. That shop will not open until 2013.
When Whole Foods entered the UK it had ambitious expansion plans but was thwarted by the onset of the recession. The 80,000 sq ft store in Kensington was seen as having problems in that it has no parking and prices were too high when consumers were seeking out value. Total sales at Whole Foods UK fell 11.8% to £43.1m in the year to September 27 2009.
The retailer also operates four smaller Whole Food shops in London which were rebranded from Fresh & Wild.