Customers this week were disappointed to find Planet Organic on Tottenham Court Road had closed, with a notice in the window announcing that the business was in the hands of the administrators. But I for one won’t miss the shop as much as some people will.
Shoppers for healthy food in Fitzrovia have not had much luck recently. It was just over a year ago that Planet Organic closed its very well-stocked branch at Torrington Place. It had been there since 2000. I was a regular customer there.
Its smaller store at Tottenham Court Road was never as good. It had a poorly stocked selection of (ironically) healthy and organic food, and instead allocated far too much space dedicated to potions and “remedies”. There was a better stock of organic milk up the road at Marks & Spencer. You had to check the use by date very carefully on PO’s offering.
It also applied to sell alcohol for consumption on and off the premises, although it was only granted an off-sales licence.
It was a strange sort of health food shop at the best of times. Trying to be all things to all people and not doing any of it particularly well.
A notice in the window announced that the shop was in the hands of administrators from 25 April. The Tottenham Court Road branch is one of four shops in London that have been closed due to the business failing. Sixty-four jobs have been lost in total.
However, the company has now been bought by its original owners.
“Administrators Interpath sold the chain to Bioren Limited, a business incorporated last month with Planet Organic founders Renée and Brian Elliott as its shareholders,” reported the Evening Standard.
“They will buy 10 Planet Organic shops, keeping the chain alive and protecting 194 store jobs as well as a further 71 at the company’s head office.”
Let’s hope the buyout will return the chain to the reliable store it once was. And let’s have a branch in Fitzrovia again.