The company is axing its bakery store in Strathspey, Scotland, stating that they can no longer compete with supermarkets over bread and fresh bakery produce. Jim Walker, the company's managing director, told Bakeryandsnacks.com that the company will now concentrate on producing shortbread as well as oatcakes, cakes, biscuits and meringues. The village bakery will be turned into a test and development unit in order to support Walkers' factories in Scotland by creating new products and niche lines. "The development is expected to be of substantial benefit to our on-going programme of product improvement and creation," Walker said. The restructure is part of ongoing plans to improve and expand Walkers Shortbread. The company plans to build a fifth factory this autumn and hire another 100 employees. Walker was keen to stress that there will be no or few redundancies. "Current bakery staff will be retrained and employed either at the test bakery or at one of our factories," he said.
Walkers Shortbread was founded by Joseph Walker in 1898, and the family-run business now exports their products to more than 60 countries around the world.