Bakers are being attracted into previously premium-value retail units, such as train stations, as the recession brings about plummeting rents and rent-free deals.

Last week, London-based bakery chain Wenzel’s opened its 14th store in West Ealing, agreeing to a five-year tenancy and six months rent-free, after rates dropped from £80,000 to £49,000 per year. It now plans four more store openings around London in the coming months - in Rickmansworth, Ealing Broadway, Baker Street Station and, potentially, Victoria Station.

Owner Sarah Wenzel said: "We’re getting sites in good locations as other businesses are closing down, as well as great rent-free periods of six to nine months. Landlords are keen to get tenants who aren’t going to disappear after the first quarter.

"We’ve built a good relationship with Transport for London, having successfully opened a shop eight months ago at Harrow-on-the-Hill station," she said.

The baker also offers a 10% discount to all Transport for London staff, helping to cement the relationship, she added.