Planet Organic stores closing down across Canada
CALGARY -- Following months of problems at a number of its locations, Planet Organic, a market that specializes in fresh and natural foods and supplements appears to be closing down.
In a letter written by CEO Alan Thompson and obtained by CTV News, the company says its operations "are at an end."
"After conducting a full review of our current financial state, we concluded that there were too many factors working against us to continue operating the Planet," Thompson wrote.
According to the official website, the company operated 11 stores in Canada, including five in Calgary and four in Edmonton.
It also had a location in Victoria, B.C. and another in Mississauga, Ont.
Last month, Calgary's Planet Organic store in Royal Oak suddently shut down, surprising many staff members who arrived for work to find the locks on the doors had been changed.
When Thompson was questioned about that store's closure, he said the location would only be closed temporarily and it was only done to help with the company's "restructuring."
The most recent development seems to indicate that those efforts have failed.
"A letter like this can't fully express the range of emotions from reaching this difficult decision to close Planet. I want to thank you for your dedication and the hard work you have given, especially through our recent challenges."
Planet Organic, which began in Edmonton in 1993, has been facing trouble ever since Oct. 2019, when many customers reported seeing empty shelves at many of the locations. Official statements from the company said it was facing "significant supply challenges."
Those challenges soon turned into accusations from a number of the companies that supplied the goods it carried that Planet Organic was delinquent on paying its bills.
In total, the suppliers claimed Planet Organic hadn't paid them for nearly $263,000 in goods.
Some of the suppliers that CTV News reached said they were sent a separate letter which stated Planet Organic owes $18 million to a secured creditor and $12 to 16 million to unsecured creditors.
It's believe that those unsecured creditors will only receive a fraction of what they are owed, only about seven or eight per cent.
Meanwhile, as stated in the letter, the company promises to make good by all of its employees by settling all of its outstanding payroll including vacation pay.
CTV News has attempted to reach Thompson for comment again on Tuesday, but those requests have not been returned.