Monday, 8 September 2008
Farewell Fresh & Wild
As we passed the Bristol branch of Fresh & Wild earlier today we noticed huge notices announcing a closing down sale. By the time we got there a couple of hours ago the shelves were nearly stripped bare.
Word had spread rapidly on the local grapevine and the store was crammed with bargain-hunters, gathering like vultures over the carcass of this once-hip organic hypermarket.
I don't think it was the fact that it was organic that did for it so much as the prices. It took a discount of 50% to bring the shoppers - including us - in. (We normally shop for that kind of produce in our local health food shop or down Gloucester Road where the prices are a lot more reasonable.)
According to The Telegraph, Fresh & Wild's parent company, Whole Foods, which recently announced losses of £10 million, is known as 'Whole Paycheck' because of the prices it charges. It seems unlikely that Bristol will be the only casualty.
Luckily for us, Whole Foods' loss was our gain. We bought a whole lot of organic wine, cheese, chutneys, spreads and biscuits, not all of which, it has to be said, we needed but they seemed too good a bargain to pass by. Even a frugal cook has to splash out sometime ;-)