United Kingdom
North West;
Location of affected unit(s)
Retail Trade, Except Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles
Retail Sale Of Food, Beverages And Tobacco In Specialised Stores
47.24 - Retail sale of bread, cakes, flour confectionery and sugar confectionery in specialised stores

430 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
9 June 2008
Employment effect (start)
9 June 2008
Foreseen end date
9 June 2008


Sayers, a firm that operates 198 bakeries across the North West of England, has announced that it is to cut approximately 430 jobs. The firm had experienced financial difficulties, and the job losses are a result of the acquisition of the firm by Sayers chairman Sandy Birnie and the subsequent creation of a new firm, Sayers the Bakers. Sayers employs approximately 1,900 employees, and the job losses were made with immediate effect from 9th June 2008. 40 of the firm’s retail outlets were also closed from this date. Management at the firm attributed the job losses to ‘escalating costs of raw materials as well as soaring energy and fuel costs’. Sandy Birnie, the chairman of Sayers, stated:

‘This is a sad day for anyone associated with Sayers because people have lost their jobs. Unfortunately we have had to take some extremely difficult decisions but the situation was simply unsustainable and we have had to act now in order to protect the long term future and job security for the remaining 1,500 employees.’

UK trade unions criticized the job losses. John Higgins, organizing district secretary of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), stated:

‘There was no warning [of the announcement] whatsoever. I was at a consultation meeting with the company last Wednesday (June 4th 2008). For more than a week, they have been playing games with people’s lives.’


  • 10 June 2008: Liverpool Daily Post
  • 9 June 2008: BBC News


Eurofound (2008), Sayers, Merger/Acquisition in United Kingdom, factsheet number 66733, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/66733.