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Planet Organic founder in rescue of retail chain

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After falling into administration, Planet Organic has been acquired by the company whose shareholders include its founder, Renee Elliot.

It was confirmed earlier this week that Will Wright and Chris Pole from Interpath Advisory were appointed joint administrators to Planet Organic Limited. And since then, Interpath has announced that had sold Planet Organic to Bioren Limited, whose shareholders include the founders of Planet Organic, Renée and Brian Elliott.

In a statement, Interpath said that the future of Planet Organic, the UK’s first fully certified organic supermarket chain, has been secured after administrators sold the majority parts of the business and its assets to Bioren. The deal will see 10 Planet Organic stores continue to trade in locations throughout London, safeguarding 194 jobs in-store and 71 jobs in the head office.

Sadly, it was confirmed that four stores were not included as part of the transaction and will close with immediate effect. The statement added that it is therefore with regret that the joint administrators have made 64 redundancies, adding that the joint administrators will be providing support to those impacted as a matter of priority.

Will Wright, Head of Restructuring at Interpath Advisory and joint administrator, commented: “Planet Organic is a well-respected brand with wonderful stores and hard working people that genuinely care about the customer experience, which is why over the years it has grown a very loyal customer base.”

Gareth Slater, Director at Interpath Advisory, who led the sales process, added: “After a competitive process, we’re delighted to have concluded this transaction, which will see the Planet Organic name continue to trade and, importantly, protects a large number of jobs. We know that the new owners have exciting plans for the business and we wish them the very best for the future and look forward to seeing the business go from strength to strength.”

Founded in 1995, Planet Organic has grown over the past 28 years to become the UK’s largest chain of Soil Association certified organic shops, operating from 14 sites across London and the South East of England. Shortly after the end of the pandemic, the company’s directors embarked on a new growth phase that required significant restructuring and changes within the business. While the underlying business is strong and the company’s stores were largely profitable, the business as a whole was lossmaking, which ultimately led to the appointment of the administrators.

Looking ahead, the directors of Bioren plan to return to Planet Organic’s vision and values, reinvigorating the business by celebrating its mission, ‘To promote health in the comunity’, and to renew training and culture, with the aim of inspiring people to eat well and create personal health and vitality while supporting the earth’s health and biodiversity.

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