Whole Foods UK slumps to record loss as inflation hits sales

The UK arm of Whole Foods fell to a record loss last year as inflationary price rises hit sales.

The Amazon-owned organic supermarket chain reported a pre-tax loss of £26.3 million from just seven London stores, with sales dipping 2.9% to £91.6 million, despite price rises.

In the five years Amazon has owned Whole Foods, its UK operations haven’t made any profit, with cumulative pre-tax losses of £70.5 million. The tech giant bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion (£10.8 billion) in 2017.

It comes as Ocado shares have risen by as much as 40% amid speculation that Amazon may be making a bid to buy the company last week.

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Whole Foods started out in 1980 from a single store in Austin, Texas. Its first store in the UK opened in Kensington in 2007.

It is not the only organic food store to be suffering of late.

Ten-store Planet Organic plunged into administration earlier this year. It was rescued in April by Bioren, whose shareholders include the founders of the organic supermarket chain Renée and Brian Elliott. Four of its stores closed when the deal was done.

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