Asda in talks with bakery staff over redundancy

Supermarket chain Asda has said that it will restructure its bakeries, putting at risk more than 1,200 jobs across the UK.

The decision comes as customers change their buying habits for baked goods, Asda said in a statement.

Britain’s third-biggest supermarket is considering sending pre-baked goods out to its supermarkets from a central location rather than baking them on-site from scratch, it said.

The retailer is currently engaging around 1,200 colleagues across 341 stores in consultations that could see them either lose their jobs or reassigned to new roles.

A spokesman for the company added that the changes would not lead to the closure of any bakeries.

“The changes we are proposing will deliver a much better and more consistent bakery offering for customers across all our stores,” said Derek Lawlor, head of marketing at Asda.

“We know these proposed changes will be unsettling for colleagues and our priority is to support them during this process.”

Rival supermarket chain Tesco announced similar changes in February to adapt to changing consumer trends, jeopardising more than 1,800 jobs at its in-store bakeries across the country.

Supermarkets are increasingly seeking to save money from their in-store operations as more shoppers buy their groceries online.

In March, Asda announced its chief executive would step down following a £6.8bn takeover deal by TDR Capital, the London-based private equity firm, and Mohsin and Zuber Issa, the two brothers who own petrol station chain EG Group.

The sale of Asda by the American retailing behemoth Walmart was announced last autumn.

The consortium has satisfied all of the conditions relating to the deal and is working to secure approval from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the coming months.

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