A photo of the editor, Alistair Forrest

Keep the faith!

Two expanding independent retail chains that have both received major investment express different views in this issue about how to face up to falling high street footfall.

Planet Organic says it will open “two or three” new stores over the next five years following investment from Inverleith.

Revital says it has put expansion on hold until we know what post-Brexit Britain looks like, but is focusing instead on the “look and feel” of its 18 stores and developing its booming online service.

No one knows what will happen after we leave the EU but both these independents are right to maintain a positive outlook because organic and health food retailers hold a precious advantage in troubled times – people want specialist help and advice when shopping for food and our industry has it in spades.

Two things are clear – a strong sense of community is the beating heart of independent health food retailing, and a powerful online and social media presence embracing e-commerce is the lifeblood in these changing times.

So many household names on the high street have ignored the challenge or been unwilling to adapt to these essentials and have lost out to online retailers. But despite the difficulties facing the UK’s physical retailers, we sense that vibrant health food stores will play to their strengths and provide customers with “a great shopping experience” combined with convenience and service.

Alistair Forrest

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