Firkin battles back with store revamp

24 November, 2006
Page 6 
Troubled Birmingham bakery chain Firkin is getting a new lease of life after facing collapse earlier this year.
One of its 53 shops - in Corporation Street - has had a £50,000 revamp, while the rest of the portfolio will get the bright new look as part of owner Ian Bolderston's plans to transform its outdated image and make it competitive in the marketplace again.Bolderston, who owns the West Midlands' Wollaston Bakery, bought 136-year-old family firm Firkin out of administration in January when it blamed strong competition in the bakery market from superstores and out-of-town shopping centres for the downturn in its fortunes."We are completely revamping the image of Firkin. The company itself is steeped in history so we certainly don't want to lose sight of that," said Bolderston. "The name is well known and fondly thought of by loyal customers so we have kept the name and brought it up to date."Each of the stores, based in Birmingham and around the Black Country, will be installed with ovens and equipment so that products can be prepared on site. They are normally made at Firkin's central bakery in Black Lake. Product lines are being developed to offer more choice, including a range of paninis and sandwiches. Ranges will be tailored to suit the demographic of each location. Another store will get the new look in a few months time.



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