Mr Kipling distribution centre in Rugby set to close

A distribution centre in Rugby that handles Mr Kipling and Cadbury cakes is set to close.

The facility had been operated by Premier Foods until last year, when global business XPO Logistics took it over under a contract to manage and centralise Premier’s warehousing and outbound distribution across the UK and Ireland.

The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) said the business had started a 45-day consultation period with the 120 workers at the site, which is set to close at the end of July.

It is understood some staff will be given the opportunity to move to XPO’s site in Tamworth, which is to handle all of Premier Foods' warehousing operations.

Workers at the Rugby site had previously been told it would remain open if other business could be found for the operation, said the union.

XPO told British Baker it was working to support its employees through this time.

“We can confirm there has been a proposal to close the Rugby site,” said a spokesperson. ”We have entered into a consultation period with colleagues, the trade union and elected employee representatives to finalise the plans.” 

The news follows a tough trading period for Premier’s cake brands, with the business last month reporting that sales of the company’s branded cakes portfolio were down 7.3% year on year in the 13 weeks ended 30 December. However, the business reported strong growth in own-label cakes.

Premier has said the first stage of its planned three-phase move to centralised warehousing and distribution had been completed “despite some initial implementation challenges”. It added that the “next two phases” of the group’s transformation programme were on track to be completed during the coming financial year.

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