Lessons from leaders with Planet Organic

George Dymond

The YF Community hosts a range of events for its members. This week, we hosted our first ‘Lessons from Leaders’ event; a series of fireside chats from retail leaders who provide brands with unique insights and expertise from the retailer landscape.

In our most recent event we heard from George Dymond, CEO at Planet Organic. George has held senior roles at Carphone Warehouse, Coles and Tesco and joined Planet Organic in 2021.

With 20+ years, consumer-facing and retail experience, George has developed a wealth of leadership, customer, product and buying knowledge that he shared with the YF Community alongside what the future holds for Planet Organic.

For those of you that missed it (or are not members of the YF Community) – here are some of the top takeaways from this jam-packed session:

A really quick overview of Planet Organic

Planet organic is a 25 year old business with 13 stores in London. The business is split into three parts: Food-to-Go, Health & Beauty, and Grocery.

So, what are the future plans for Planet Organic?

George shared with us several goals he has for the future of Planet Organic:

  • Increase store base. The stores are expanding with an aim to increase into 30 stores in London and 20 out of London.

  • An omni-channel focus. Planet Organic wants customers to shop in every way possible and plans to embrace every channel, whether that is online, in store or via Deliveroo.

  • Innovative brands are key. Planet Organic is a brilliant place to springboard new innovative brands. The retailer will be embracing more partnerships and continue to champion and support new brands, helping them to get up and running in the retailer landscape.

  • Central supply chain. The ambition is to deal directly with more suppliers rather than rely solely on wholesalers. A Planet Organic warehouse will open in September.

  • Develop Planet Organic brand. Planet Organic are keen to expand their own brand in every part of the business and to develop partnerships within this space also.

  • Infrastructure improvements. The retailer wants to improve the infrastructure both internally and externally. From an internal perspective, there are plans to improve recruitment and the culture itself. As well as improving internal systems and supply chains. There will also be a focus on enhancing the sense of community within each store, working with local brands as much as possible.

Planet Organic’s 4 top tips to SMEs when trying to win with retailers 

  • Be clear: Brands should be clear in terms of who they are and who their customer base is. If you can be really specific about the problem your brand is answering, and offer a solution for that, it will stand you in very good stead.

  • Keep it simple: Stay simple. Have a clear point of difference rather than following the trends. It is so important to stay focused on what your brand offers. Many brands break down when they expand or diversify too rapidly. Start slowly and simply and get momentum – that will bring success. Focus on what you do and do it really well.

  • Do not waste your money: You do not need to throw a huge amount of money in the early stages. When the sales come in then you can start to accelerate, it is not necessary to take the plunge before.

  • Make friends: Collaboration is the way forward. Banding together is vital otherwise you will get lost amongst the bigger brands; collaboration is far better than competition.

"At a time like this, it is incredibly important to hone in on your customer. Stay true to what your customers want. Be very clear about your proposition. Is it value or quality? For Planet Organic, we always focus on quality. Work out exactly what it is that you offer."

And finally, where will Planet Organic will be expanding and focusing?

  • Fresh offering. We want to provide a much more sensorial experience. High quality fresh goods which tell a story.

  • Health and wellness. We want to respond to the customer demand for health and wellness. Expanding on the supplement and beauty market in particular.

  • Frozen and chilled. We want to expand in this area and explore how we can reconfigure stores to improve this offering.

Want to see more insightful content like this? 

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