Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Planet Doughnut closes five shops due to trading difficulties

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Planet Doughnut has announced the closure of five of its eight stores across the West Midlands and northwest, citing difficult trading conditions.

In a statement from the Shrewsbury-based doughnut specialist, managing director Rob Jones said: “Despite our best efforts and continued support, one of our franchise partners has made the tough decision to close all four of their Planet Doughnut stores in Widnes, Warrington, St Helens, and Newcastle under Lyme.

“We sympathise with our franchisees, as trading on the high street has been difficult in recent years,” added Jones.

In addition to the franchise closures, founder Duncan McGregor had also decided to close one of his stores in Lichfield, noted the MD.

“Duncan’s original stores in Shrewsbury, Chester and Telford will remain, but will be rebranding to offer more than just doughnuts. Planet Doughnut will continue to supply all three stores with our doughnuts,” Jones commented.

More details on the rebranding are to be revealed in the coming weeks.

Planet Doughnut’s wholesale business appears to be thriving, meanwhile.

“Although retail is hard at the moment, the Planet Doughnut central bakery has never been busier,” asserted Jones. “We’re now hand making, icing, decorating, and finishing 10,000 doughnuts a day in Shrewsbury and our amazing creations are now more readily available across the UK than ever before.”

Last August, the company landed a deal with retailer Co-op to stock its product range at more than 70 stores across central England. Jones noted that Planet Doughnut also supplies a long list of stockists from farm shops to garden centres, pub chains, venues, and “the country’s largest sporting stadiums”.

“We continue to supply most major wholesalers, meaning that we can deliver to every corner of the UK so that more people can seize the dough,” he added.

Planet Doughnut range - April 2024  2100x1494

Planet Doughnut previously harboured big ambitions to expand its retail footprint in the UK. In April 2022, it declared an aim of having more than 50 outlets in operation by the end of 2025.

Last year, British Baker had it as one of the three brands tipped to appear on its Bakery Market Report in the near future, along with fellow doughnut brand Project D and East Anglian chain Two Magpies Bakery.

While none of these companies were able to make the cut (13 shops) among the top 75 out-of-home businesses listed in this year’s Bakery Market Report, Two Magpies came closest, adding two new sites to its estate last year and a tenth in recent weeks. It also won Britian’s Best Cake 2024 for its Salted Caramel & Almond Brownie, with capacity at its new central bakery to support growth up to 30 shops.

Similar to Planet Doughnut, Project D has also struggled with maintaining its shop estate of late – three months of losses at the turn of the new year forced it to close its kiosk in Nottingham’s Victoria Centre and more recently, its flagship store in York.

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