A FAMOUS North-East baker could cut more than 400 jobs.
Newcastle-based pie and pasty maker Greggs says it looking at cutting 300 posts across its in-store bakeries and a further 110 management jobs.
The firm says it wants to move in-store bakery work, currently carried out by 79 stores, to its regional network, which will supply its 1,671 shops.
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Bosses say the changes could be carried out in the next 18 months.
In a report, the company outlined its plans to cut jobs.
It said: “The vast majority of our shops are supplied with fresh products from our regional bakery network.
“As a legacy from earlier business acquisitions, there are 79 shops remaining where we currently operate in-store bakeries.
“It is more efficient to supply our shops from regional bakeries and therefore over the next 12 to 18 months it's proposed the remaining shops supplied by in-store bakeries will be transferred to our regional bakery network.
“This would involve the de-commissioning of the in-store bakeries across our estate and may result in 300 roles becoming redundant.
“In order to compete effectively in the food-on-the-go market, we must also continue to simplify the business and improve efficiency.
“By reducing the cost of our support operations we will maximise the scope for investment in front line customer service and as a result, we are proposing to restructure our management and support teams across the country.
“This may result in around 110 roles becoming redundant.”
The company revealed the plans after announcing strong Christmas trading, when like-for-like sales increased 3.1 per cent in the five weeks to January 4.
It said it benefited from the convenience factor of the food-on-the-go market, with sandwiches, sweet bakery products and mince pies all selling strongly.
Roger Whiteside, chief executive, said the improved trading was encouraging, but warned the firm still faced a number of challenges in 2014.
He said: “We improved trading as we progressed through the year, in part reflecting our new bakery food-on-the-go strategy.
“As a result, our full-year results should be in line with previous expectations, and while we face a number of challenges in the coming year, we remain confident we can make further progress in 2014.”