Scotland business

Whole Foods to close two UK stores

Whole Foods Market, Giffnock Image copyright Google
Image caption The company's store in Giffnock is one of two UK outlets earmarked for closure

US-owned healthy grocery chain Whole Foods Market has announced plans to close two of its nine UK stores, including its only outlet in Scotland.

The firm said it was proposing to close its bases in Giffnock, East Renfrewshire, and Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

It is understood that the two stores employ about 150 staff between them.

The firm said it would consult with staff before making a final decision on the future of the shops.

The store in Giffnock, which opened six years ago, includes a butcher, fishmonger, cheesemonger and a bakery, as well as homewares and beauty products.

In a statement, the company said: "A decision on the future of the stores will be made after the company has consulted with team members to discuss the proposal.

"In the event that the decision is taken to close the stores, we will work with team members to explore alternative employment opportunities.

"We remain committed to the UK market and will continue to look for ways to offer high-quality natural and organics to our customers."

Whole Foods Market opened its first store in the US in 1980. In 2004 it entered the UK market with the acquisition of seven Fresh and Wild stores.

Last year it employed about 1,200 people in the UK.