London craft bakery chain Wenzel’s is defying the tough economic climate with a £1m revamp of its 20 stores and plans to boost the chain to 30 outlets in the next year.
The Pinner-based company expects the new-look stores to boost takings by at least 10%, with the introduction of new signage and photography, highlighting the company’s craft bakery skills. Wenzel’s packaging and website have also been redesigned and new ’pick-up’ areas will encourage more impulse purchases.
The refresh, which has been undertaken with the help of design company Ech, began last month and is expected to be completed by the spring of 2012.
At the same time, the company is planning to open a further 10 outlets over the next 12 months, starting with a new store in Edgware this month. Wenzel’s also hopes to open more branches in tube stations, including Victoria and Marylebone, which will join existing sites at Bakerloo and Harrow on the Hill.
Sarah Wenzel, owner, said: "Because of the economic climate there are good deals out there on units. We own a lot of our properties freehold, so we are quite a cash-rich business. The expansion will be self-funded."
Sales across the chain have been buoyant since August, she added, thanks to several new initiatives, such as more meal deals, customer feedback schemes and a Facebook campaign. "We’re also more focused on upselling and have invested significantly in staff training," she said. "We have monthly managers’ meetings where we talk about the products that we need to focus on and have introduced a new bonus scheme."