Bagel Nash has scaled back its expansion plans, as the credit crunch bites into the sandwich market.
Last year, the Leeds-based bagel shop and café chain hoped to open an extra 43 stores by 2011, but now admits its plan to reach 50 outlets will take longer. It has opened five in the last year, with the latest in Manchester’s Spinningfields and Arndale Centres, in Huddersfield and in Leeds’ White Rose Shopping Centre. It now has 12 branches and no other openings are planned for 2009.
Owner Uri Mizrahi said: "We will slow down and see what’s happening with the economy. We’re in no rush to meet our deadlines; you just set yourself targets to help drive the business."
Bagel Nash shops are getting larger, however; original stores only had a couple of tables, but the Arndale Centre shop has 80 seats. Decor has also been upgraded in the new openings and the chain plans to refurbish some of the existing shops.
The chain has launched promotions, such as a free bottle of water with every gourmet bagel, to generate interest and maintain customer loyalty.