Warrens factory and shops under threat in restructure

Warrens Bakery is set to shut one of its factories and several loss-making shops.

The Cornish business, which employs 500 staff and operates around 70 managed and franchised stores, said the uncertainty of Brexit was affecting consumer confidence and forcing it to restructure.

It warned the streamlining could lead to a significant job losses throughout the West Country.

News of the restructure comes just months after the business made more than 60 staff in production and distribution roles redundant.

Warrens has proposed the closure of its manufacturing site in St Just, which it has operated since the 1970s, saying its configuration and remote location meant it was no longer economically viable.

The company stated it remained committed to profitable manufacturing and would retain its factory at Callington.

It was also consulting on the closure of several loss-making shops, which it said was required to safeguard the future of the wider business.

The shops under threat are managed by Warrens, which has expanded rapidly in recent years through franchising.

A consultation with staff due to be impacted by the changes is under way, but Warrens would not state how many jobs were at risk.

Following the restructure, the business plans to ramp up its focus on hospitals, travel hubs, and strategically selected high street and destination sites. It recently partnered with travel site operator SSP to open a 300 sq metre store in Gatwick Airport.

While insisting the Cornish pasty would remain core to its business, it added that it would also look to further develop its range to meet consumer demand for a variety of products and price points.

“With sadness and a heavy heart, we are consulting with staff and examining streamlining options, which could lead to a significant loss of jobs throughout the West Country,” said Warrens in a statement.

“We would like to thank our loyal staff and customers wholeheartedly for their continued support.  We have been part of the West Country community for 160 years and, by implementing these proposed changes, we aim to serve the local economy for many years to come.”

In its latest accounts filed at Companies House, for the year ended 30 June 2018, the business made a loss of £915,000 compared to a £31,000 loss the previous year.

Warrens won the Craft Bakery Business Award in the 2018 Baking Industry Awards.

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