The boss of Firkins Foods has vowed to have 50 bakeries operating within the next two years - just months after saving 30 former Firkins Bakery shops from the administrator. The West Midlands bakery group - formerly Firkins Bakery - had to lay off 140 staff and shut 20 of its 53 stores when banks reduced credit last November.
MD Ian Bolderston managed to buy back 30 stores from the administrator, saving 200 jobs, two years after he had rescued the West Bromwich-based chain from administration in 2006.
Firkins has now opened a new shop in Walsall and plans another two openings in the area later this year. It has also refitted 15 of its shops in the last 18 months and plans to refurbish another six or eight in the next year. "We want to keep expanding," said Bolderston. "Getting credit is not a problem now - 99% of my suppliers are still dealing with me."
He admitted that Firkins had had too many shops that were under-performing and which were in the wrong retail location.