Jobs at risk as Hemel Hempstead Sainsbury's to close its in-store cafe

It's part of a wider move to introduce hubs with Caffè Carluccio’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Starbucks
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Staff at Hemel's Sainsbury's in Apsley Mills were told yesterday (Tuesday) of plans to close the store's cafe as part of a major shake up across the group.

The move - which will put 2,000 jobs at risk across the country - is part of a wider plan to transform Sainsbury's eat-in, takeaway and home delivery food and drink offering.

The closures will be as soon as April.

Sainsbury's in Apsley MillsSainsbury's in Apsley Mills
Sainsbury's in Apsley Mills

In its place, Sainsbury's - in partnership with Boparan Restaurant Group - plans to open 30 restaurant hubs after a successful trial in Birmingham.

There, customers will be offered eat-in, takeaway and home delivered hot food and drink from brands including Caffè Carluccio’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Ed’s Diner and Slim Chickens.

At the same time, Sainsbury’s will also open a further 30 Starbucks coffee shops in its supermarkets in the next 12 months, bringing the total number of Starbucks in its supermarkets to 60.

It's not known whether Hemel's London Road store will get a Starbucks coffee shops at this stage.

Simon Roberts, Sainsbury’s chief executive officer, said: "“As we go through this period of transition, we have taken the difficult decision to close 200 of our cafes next month.

"We have spoken to all colleagues affected by these changes today and are absolutely committed to supporting them in any way we can during this uncertain time.

"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.”