Asda to get rid of its in store bakeries in big company change

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Asda has noticed a fall in demand for its in store baked goods, therefore the supermarket is introducing a huge change to its shops. Asda stores will no longer bake products on site, meaning that more than a thousand staff jobs could be at risk.

As many as 1,200 people work at in store bakeries across 341 Asda stores throughout the UK.

However, their jobs could potentially be at risk as the supermarket plans to restructure its bakeries due to a fall in demand for traditional bread loaves, according to a report by the Daily Mirror.

Asda plans to get rid of in store bakeries and instead opt for a centralised location from where pre-baked products will be delivered to stores daily.

The supermarket said that it had started a consultation with staff over the change, stressing that redundancies were “the last option”.

In a statement, Asda said: “If the proposals are enacted, the priority will be to move as many colleagues as possible into alternative roles within Asda.”

Derek Lawlor, Asda’s Chief Merchandising Officer, commented on the move.

He said: “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.

“The changes we are proposing will deliver a much better and more consistent bakery offering for customers across all our stores.”

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Mr Lawlor continued: “We know these proposed changes will be unsettling for colleagues and our priority is to support them during this process.”

The decision to scrap in store bakeries is said to be due to changes in customer demand in recent years, as more people are buying speciality breads, wraps, and bagels, rather than traditional loaves.

Having a central bakery will enable Asda to bake and deliver a larger range of goods to stores.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the retail and food industries have seen many changes, such as an increase in online shopping.

Due to the rise in online grocery shopping and deliveries, Asda plans to create around 4,500 separate jobs in its online operations.

Roger Burnley, Asda’s Chief Executive and President said: “Our plans to transform the business will result in more roles being created than those we propose to remove, and our absolute aim is to ensure as many colleagues as possible stay with us, as well as creating the opportunity to welcome new people to our business.”

The supermarket’s decision to get rid of its bakeries follows a similar move that Tesco undertook last year.

Tesco also claimed that demand for traditional bread loaves had decreased and therefore it said it would do less baking from scratch in stores.

Tesco’s decision at the time put 1,800 jobs at risk.

In other Asda news, the supermarket has expanded its online delivery service to make online shopping easier for customers, increasing the available delivery slots this month to a total of 900,000.

The retailer has also upgraded its home delivery service to help those who are currently self-isolating, or who do not feel comfortable visiting supermarkets.

Customers in 200 locations are able to get groceries in as little as 30 minutes.

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