As many people know, Planet Organic closed all of its operations in March after struggling for many months.
This was a big loss to the local organic scene. There were many aspects of Planet Organic I did not care for but they were serving a segment of our city that would not consider being customers of our store. The last aspect I did not like was that when they had a cash flow problem and their shelves started to get bare they blamed it on a supply issue. This shifted the ‘blame’ onto small suppliers and put the frontline staff having to deliver their lie. I did not like this.
At the end of March, I was contacted by the owner of the former location of Planet Organic on Jasper to see if I would be interested in taking over the space. I went and looked at it and did think about it for a day or two. The developer was offering me a great deal but it just didn’t feel right. I was turning 65 and I figured I would need to borrow half a million dollars to get it up and running. I did not want to get into so much debt at this time in my life.
As most people may remember I had opened a store downtown before and it turned out that what I was offering was not what people wanted – or conversely, what people wanted was not what I was offering. I felt it would likely be a repeat of that venture.
The Jasper store has since had its fixtures removed and sold off. This, from my understanding, is not true of the other three Edmonton stores.
This is the third time that Planet Organic financially faltered. The first time they faltered they had a store location in Port Coquitlam, BC. A group of the staff bought that location from the corporation and have owned and operated it since.
You may be aware that Planet Organic opened two new locations in the Edmonton area over the past year or so. This gave them 4 locations in Edmonton. I have heard from a credible source that Pomme is going to take over 3 of the locations in Edmonton but the Jasper location is dead.
Pity about that since that end of Jasper is underserved by grocery stores.
From my understanding, Blush Lane picked up a good portion of the former Planet Organic customers. That, the Covid-19 pandemic, and being owned by a food delivery service (SPUD.ca) pushed their sales into hyperdrive. I have not talked with anyone from Organic Box but I am sure that they are ‘happy’ with the uptick in sales since many people sought out home delivery services like Organic Box and Spud.
Anyway, this was just a blog to let you know that I was offered the Jasper Planet Organic location but – for better or worse, decided to pass on it. Sorry.