A reaffirmed focus on food will form part of a vision reset at Planet Organic says the retailer’s co-founder Renée Elliott as she returns to “the driving seat”.
Renée Elliott and her husband Brian staged a surprise eleventh-hour rescue of the pioneering organic food retailer when it fell into administration last month. The deal saved 10 of Planet Organic’s stores, safeguarding 265 jobs in the process.
Elliott has been setting out her vision for a reinvigorated Planet Organic in a series of social media posts, and in a lengthy interview with The Grocer.
Describing hearing that Planet Organic had gone into administration as a “horrible shock”, Elliott said that taking over the business and working with the transitional team (that team includes former CEO Peter Marsh and former buying director Al Overton) was a “complete joy”.
Posting on LinkedIn, Elliott said: “Our immediate focus is to stabilise, care for our people and do everything necessary to serve our customers. Our goals are to re-enliven culture, resume training, restart farm visits, restore Founder Inductions and return to organic plus healthy foods.
“Our goals are to re-enliven culture, resume training, restart farm visits, restore Founder Inductions and return to organic plus healthy foods”
“When I founded Planet Organic, my mission was to change food retailing, bring organic mainstream, promote health in the community and support the earth’s biodiversity. I’m delighted to be back in the driver’s seat again, able to do this. The time is right.”
Elliott said the businesses was busy “reconnecting our traditional supply chain”, adding that the team “are grateful for the support we are receiving from suppliers”. The retailer also apologised to customers for recent out of stocks and thanked them for their patience while shelves were replenished.
In her interview with the Grocer, Elliott said there would be a renewed focus on food as part of the vision reset at Planet Organic.
The comment is believed to be a response to an earlier rescue plan based on a slimmed down health and beauty focused Planet store offer. She told the magazine: “Planet organic is an organic and healthy grocery store. We are very committed to that. Health and bodycare is very important but that is not what draws people into Planet stores – it’s the juice bar, it’s the food to go, and then they shop the rest of the store. But it is really about grocery. I love supplementation as a way to enhance your diet and deal with deficiencies, but I’m a foodie.”