Asda has entered into consultation with 1200 bakery staff after announcing plans to ditch its in-store bakery model.
The grocer said the proposal followed “a notable shift in customer buying behaviours” in recent years, with demand for speciality breads, wraps, bagels and pancakes outstripping traditional loaves.
The move to an ambient bakery model using a centralised bakery sparked the start of formal consultations with colleagues potentially impacted by the changes, Asda said.
If the proposals were enacted, the priority was to move as many colleagues as possible into alternative roles within the supermarket chain, with redundancy “the last option”.
The move would also broaden the range of bakery products offered and fresh products would be baked several times a day, compared with just once a day at present, Asda added.
These changes come just over a year after Tesco announced a similar shake-up of its in-store bakeries, with bakery items being part-baked in-store instead of baked from scratch.
These latest staff restructuring measures come less than two months after Asda said 5000 jobs were at risk from the closures of two warehouses as its re-geared its business more towards online grocery.
“The current in-store bakery model has restricted our ability to respond to changing customer demands and offer them the speciality products and freshly baked goods they want to buy throughout the day,” Asda Chief Merchandising Officer Derek Lawlor said.
“The changes we are proposing will deliver a much better and more consistent bakery offering for customers across all our stores.
“We know these proposed changes will be unsettling for colleagues and our priority is to support them during this process.”
Image credit: Asda Media Library
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Editor, International Bakery
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