Kelso-based J L Bakery is fighting against the effects of the recession with a rebrand of its retail estate. So far, three of its eight shops Galashiels, Jedburgh and Innerleithen have been rebranded as Poundbakehouse as the firm looks to counteract the 35% drop in sales it has suffered over the past three years.
MD Max Robbie told British Baker he was now planning on rolling out the rebrand to all his shops, with Kelso the next to be revamped, later this month. "We need to regain some of our customers. Since the credit crunch, on the retail side, we have lost about 35% of sales," he explained. "We tried to work through it, but ultimately reached the stage where we felt that rebranding was required."
To help fund the concept, and as part of a financial restructure of the company, the bakery also invited two new investors "to come in and have a share of the company", he added. This also saw the business name change from Jackie Lunn to J L Bakery.
All products in the shop will sell in multiples of £1. There will be five products for sale at £2, but £1 will be the main price point, said Robbie. "We’ve always looked at the product and product quality as being the main driver of our business, but this time we are also focusing on the product being at an affordable price. However we’ve changed nothing in terms of the ingredients used," he added.
"We’re looking to increase our volumes by 50%, which will obviously hit our margins to begin with, but overall monetary contributions are forecast to increase. It’s simply about getting more people through the door." He said the response from customers so far had been that it was an excellent concept.
The firm also has a wholesale arm, which makes up around 25% of its business.