ASDA closing in-store baking puts Milton Keynes jobs at risk

The retail giants announces its closing bakeries within their supermarkets putting thousands of jobs at risk.

By James Lowson
Thursday, 15th April 2021, 12:38 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th April 2021, 12:40 pm

This business restructuring will affect 1,200 jobs nationally, Milton Keynes has four ASDA stores with two containing bakeries.

ASDA stores at Oakridge Park in Stantonbury and Islay Court in Newton Leys both contain bakeries currently.

The ASDAs in Wolverton and the one on Bletcham Way don't offer a bakery, and it is unclear whether other services such as its pizza counter will be impacted.

ASDA Superstore in Milton Keynes

Instead of baking fresh foods in 341 stores across the country, plans are in place for food to be processed at a central hub and then warmed in store.

ASDA is currently speaking with those affected by the changes to organise either reassignment or redundancy. It claims redundancy would be the last option chosen, where possible.

The third-biggest supermarket chain put a further 2,000 jobs at risk when it announced it was closing two warehouses and several back offices in February this year.

ASDA has changed ownership during the pandemic the company was sold to two billionaire brothers, Mohsin and Zuber Issa, in October 2020. The deal was brokered by TDR Capital, the two brothers made their fortunes overseeing petrol chain giants EG Group.

Derek lawlor chief merchandising officer for ASDA said: “The current in-store bakery model has restricted our ability to respond to changing customer demands and offer them the speciality products and freshly baked goods they want to buy throughout the day.

“The changes we are proposing will deliver a much better and more consistent bakery offering for customers across all our stores. We know these proposed changes will be unsettling for colleagues and our priority is to support them during this process.”

Tesco made similar changes to its bakery process announcing it would be doing less bakery from scratch in February 2020, a move that put 1,800 jobs at risk.

Roger Jenkins, national officer of the GMB union, told The Guardian: “Asda’s plans to scrap baking their products from scratch on site and replace them with part-baked products from mass producers is not good for the consumer.

“Over 1,000 skilled bakers are now at risk of losing their jobs. GMB calls on Asda to retain these valuable skilled employees and continue to offer the customer truly fresh produce baked by professional bakers.”