Planet Organic to Open First Ontario Store

EDMONTON, Alta. -- Natural and organic supermarket chain Planet Organic here said yesterday it has signed a lease for a 10,000-square-foot natural food grocery store in Port Credit, Ont., 20 minutes west of Toronto.

Noted Mark Craft, president of the company's Planet Organic Markets division: "This is our first venture into Ontario, and it's a real coup for us to start with a location with such a long history." The new site formerly housed Alternatives Market, a pioneering natural food store in Canada. Craft added that the purchase is in line with Planet Organic's strategy to merge the leading locations and natural food stores in the country.

"It will also be a good thing for the many loyal customers of Alternatives Market," continued Craft. "We'll be giving the space a new look with a major renovation to provide an even better shopping experience." The Ontario store will include an enlarged organic produce section, more vitamins and natural body care products, a bigger bulk food section, and a baker's pantry.

On Planet Organic's financial performance over the past year, Craft said: "We are extremely pleased with our growth. The demand for organic food is on the rise, and we have built a strong team to deliver to our future customers in Ontario." He further noted that the company is actively pursuing other acquisitions and build-outs in the province.

The Port Credit store is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2006, at about the same time as Planet Organic's fifth western Canadian store, located Calgary, Alta.
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