Warrens closes 22 loss-making shops in restructure

Warrens Bakery has shut 22 company-managed shops in a restructure it has blamed on uncertainty over Brexit.

The Cornish business, which continues to operate 44 managed shops following the closures, also revealed its workforce was set to fall from 500 to around 350 under plans announced last week.

Warrens said around a quarter of the retail team put at risk of redundancy were placed back into long-term internal jobs by filling vacancies in other stores.

News of the restructure followed the business making 60 staff in production and distribution roles redundant.

Warrens also revealed plans to close its factory in St Just, stating it was no longer economically viable. Further news on the factory closure is expected this month. The company said it remained committed to profitable manufacturing and would retain its factory at Callington.

Following the restructure, the business – which recently partnered with travel site operator SSP to open a 300 sq metre store in Gatwick Airport – plans to ramp up its focus on hospitals and travel hubs.

Warrens said the Cornish pasty would remain at the core of its business but it planned to also 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 issued last week.

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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