Supermarket Morrisons this week re-opened its original store in the Victoria Shopping Centre in Bradford with a new-look open-plan bakery.

The £500,000 Bradford Victoria store refurbishment is part of a wider Morrisons programme to refresh stores to emphasise craft skills.

Changes include the removal of walls to make the bakers’, butchers’ and fishmongers’ areas open-plan so that shoppers can see staff at work preparing the food. Morrisons has also updated its interior of the store to include the latest in misting technology (store cooling).

And as part of the overhaul, the new-look stores have increased the number of bakery products made from scratch on-site.

Morrisons has already refurbished its Cleethorpes, Cardiff, Wellingborough, Speke, East Kilbride, Morecambe and Chingford stores this year. More stores are set to be overhauled before the end of the year, a spokeswoman told British Baker.

Morrisons is also referring to the refurbished stores as Craft Skills Academies as bakers, butchers and fishmongers will be on view behind counters as they work towards Level 2 IPQ qualification (Improve Proficiency Qualification, the new NVQ).

Around six bakers would be trained in an average store, but no actual changes have been made to Morrisons’ existing training systems, the spokeswoman explained.

Morrisons’ existing 12-month in-store apprenticeship scheme includes in-store training and four separate weeks at Blackpool College to study the science of modern baking.

Chris Dibb, Bradford Victoria store manager, said: “The transformation of the store is incredible. We have more skilled craftsmen and women on our counters than any other supermarket and pride ourselves on the knowledge and advice that they can offer to customers.”

Morrisons will be making a total of 20,000 apprentice places available in 2013 across its stores, offering training in bakery, butchery and retail skills.

Its Academy Apprenticeship and qualifications programme will change hands from current provider Elmfield to NCG from August.