Our bakeries are an important part of our offer for customers and will remain so. However, over recent years, we have seen a big shift in customer tastes and preferences. Customers are buying fewer traditional loaves of bread and are increasingly looking for a wider range of options, with sales of wraps, bagels and flatbreads growing. In light of this, we have undertaken a review to make sure our bakery operation is relevant for the way the market and our customers have evolved.
From May, we are making the following changes in our large in-store bakeries:
- Altering our space and range to cater to changing customer demand, including the increase in alternatives to traditional loaves.
- We will continue to offer scratch baking in 257 stores but we’re making some changes to our other bakeries. In 201 stores the most popular products will continue to be baked from scratch with other products moving to part-baked. And in 58 stores we’re converting the bakery to full bake-off where all products are delivered pre-prepared, then baked and finished in store.
- Improving the customer experience by investing and continuing to roll out new, up-to-date fixtures as well as growing our regional bakery ranges in partnership with small local suppliers.
Due to some stores doing less scratch baking, as well as the simplified routines these changes will bring, we will unfortunately need fewer colleagues to work in these areas. As a result, there are 1,816 bakery colleagues being put at risk of redundancy. At this difficult time, our priority will be to support those colleagues impacted, including finding an alternative role from the many thousands of vacancies we will have available across our store networks between now and May, for those who wish to stay with us.
Jason Tarry, UK & ROI CEO, said:
“We need to adapt to changing customer demand and tastes for bakery products so that we continue to offer customers a market-leading bakery range in store. We know this will be very difficult for colleagues who are impacted, and our priority is to support them through this process. We hope that many will choose to stay with us in alternative roles.”