Whole Foods Set to Close and New Wetherspoons to Open

More major upheavals on Fulham Broadway in 2024

Whole Foods Market set to close
Whole Foods Market set to close

April 1, 2024

After ten years of trading on Fulham Broadway, Whole Foods Market has been earmarked for closure.

The “eco-minded” supermarket opened with great fanfare in April 2014 at 2- 6 Fulham Broadway. In 2017, parent company Whole Foods Market was acquired by Amazon, and in recent years there have been signs that the Fulham store may be struggling as it reduced its trading space by closing its first floor, which had been dedicated to health and beauty products.

Now the company has made the bombshell announcement that it is closing its stores in Fulham and Richmond, along with a distribution centre in Dartford. At the same time, it is planning to open a new store at the Chelsea end of Kings Road and continue the redevelopment of its flagship store in Kensington High Street.

No timescale has yet been announced for the closure of the store, but the potential loss of Whole Foods Market is another major blow for the Broadway, following the announcement by Barclays Bank that it is shutting its Fulham Centre branch on May 23.

Other recent losses have included catering equipment store Nisbets and short lived Jamaican restaurant Mama’s Jerk, and the former homes of Thai Rice, The Elk Bar and of course the much missed Wilko all remain empty.

However there is more positive news on the pub front, with JD Wetherspoon given the go ahead by H&F Council to open at 472 Fulham Road, in the redeveloped former station ticket hall, formerly used by Fulham Market Hall.

As we reported last August, the chain plans to spend £2.5 million converting the Grade II listed premises into a pub and restaurant, while retaining original features including the ticket booths and signs.

The interior of Whole Foods Market
The interior of Whole Foods Market

Council planners have now granted the scheme full planning permission, saying: “ It is considered that the proposal would be acceptable in land use terms and would not be detrimental to the amenities of neighbours and the local area, including traffic and parking conditions.

“The proposed development would provide an acceptable standard of design and inclusive access. The proposed development and change of use would not harm the significance of the listed building, the significance of the Conservation Area or the settings of adjacent heritage assets and the proposed use is likely to be the Optimum Viable Use of the listed building in accordance with s.66 and s.72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.”

The council’s statement added: “ In determining this application, the local planning authority has worked in a pro-active and positive manner with the applicant to foster the delivery of sustainable development.”

However, the permission comes with a number of conditions, including limiting the hours of opening for a new beer garden roof terrace and stipulating that no outdoor seating will be allowed on the highway.

You can read the council’s decision in full here.

The new Wetherspoons will be competing for customers with its two neighbouring pubs, McGettigan’s, across the street at 1 Fulham Broadway and the next door Fulham Broadway Bar and Grill. Now being run by the EI Group, the Broadway Bar and Grill is currently closed for “essential maintenance”.

However, the owner has been granted licences to continue running the premises, as in the past, as a pub on the ground and first floors, with a members’ bar complete with its own roof terrace.

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