Matlock supermarket café shuts with questions over staff and future plans

A Matlock supermarket café will serve its last cup of tea this week, as the company seeks to reduce its costs and rethink its in-store experience.

By Ed Dingwall
Thursday, 21st April 2022, 5:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st April 2022, 5:19 pm

The café at Sainsbury’s, on Cawdor Way, is to shut on Friday, April 22, along with four others across Derbyshire, as part of national closure programme affecting 200 stores.

Sainsbury’s declined to answer questions on the fate of the café staff in Matlock, but revealing the plans last month, said around 2,000 workers had been placed on consultation, and that as many as possible would be prioritised for vacancies elsewhere in the business.

The company’s chief executive Simon Roberts said: “Of course, we understand this is very unsettling for our colleagues, but we must keep adapting our business to make sure we are offering customers the best possible food and drink at affordable prices.

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Where will shoppers stop for a cuppa now? (Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

“We are totally focused on improving what we can deliver for our customers and at the same time, working hard to make our business simpler.”

The company has described the move as the first stage in a plan to overhaul its eat-in, takeaway and home delivery food and drink services through new food halls in partnership with Boparan Restaurant Group and cafés with Starbucks.

30 ‘restaurant hubs’ are expected to open at selected stores in the next year featuring products from well known chains such as Caffè Carluccio’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Ed’s Diner and Slim Chickens. A further 30 Starbucks concessions will be opening over the same period.

The locations for each have yet to announced, and no further details have been revealed of plans for the Matlock store, but a Sainsbury’s spokesperson said they would be keeping staff and customers updated as the project progresses.

Sainsbury’s has also announced plans to close less popular hot food counters in 34 stores and simplify the way it runs its bakeries in 54 stores.

The move is the latest sign of restructuring for the retailer, which cut around 3,500 jobs in November 2020 due to the closure of fresh meat and fish counters.

A further 1,150 jobs were cut the following March, and then 1,200 jobs were at risk from plans to stop baking products in some stores.