UNION Market in Fulham has closed down.
The high-end supermarket, which opened next to Fulham Broadway Tube Station in July 2010, stopped trading on Sunday evening.
It is believed the independent firm ran into financial trouble and was forced into administration. One staff member allegedly blamed the high cost of renting the building for its demise.
A hint of possible trouble came earlier this month when the famrers' market-style shop, which sold mainly British produce, reduced its opening hours, but its Facebook page insisted that was just a temporary measure.
Some shoppers expressed their shock at the closure when the Chronicle visited the store on Tuesday morning, when wilting produce remained on the shelves.
Michael Voss, a dance teacher from Parsons Green, said: "It always seemed busy - it's bizarre, one minute it was here and now it's gone. I really liked it."
Mike Guy, 58, from Vanston Place, said: "The quality of the produce was excellent and not really much more expensive than Waitrose. There always seemed people in there."
But some weren't so surprised. Italian Daria Fortuna, 34, from Earl's Court, said: "People only seemed to go in for bits and pieces rather than doing a full shop."
Martha Ogden, 74, added: "I thought it was ambitious to open a place like this in the middle of the recession."
There was much excitement when the shop took over the historic site from TGI Friday's, pledging it could rid farmers' market-style stores of their elitist tag.
At the time, director Martyn Barrett expressed confidence the venture could buck the economic trend. And last year store manager James Thompson said he was not worried about the arrival of Whole Foods, which will open at the former Blue Elephant restaurant later this year.
He said in May: "We think it's positive and we welcome them. This town is becoming more of a foodies' area all the time and competition is good. We're relaxed about it."
However, some fear the food revolution is fading. On Twitter, @chef_T0m, who works locally, said: "All the restaurants are struggling in that area. Just look at how many empty places there are. Not enough people eating out?"
Union Market could be contacted for comment.
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