Helsinki / FI. (fg) Fazer Bakery Finland’s shop-in-shop business has grown rapidly recently. Currently, there are 131 shop-in-shop bakeries, the group reports – in view of a population density of 16 inhabitants per square kilometer and 5.5 million countrymen in total, and competition that never sleeps. Germany, of course, is no benchmark, with 236 inhabitants per square kilometer and 84.3 million citizens. But the comparison explains why well-known Nordic companies learned early on to operate outside their home market. Back to the domestic market of Finland:
In order to have the best conditions for profitable growth and close cooperation with customers in the future, Fazer Finland has decided to review the organization of its shop-in-shop bakeries. The «Food Experience Company» plans to make changes to its operating models that will enable the company to further strengthen its business and respond quickly to changing customer and consumer needs. As part of these plans, Fazer Bakery Finland will begin negotiations to make changes to the staffing of its shop-in-shop bakery business. If the planned changes are implemented, they could lead to the termination of employment contracts, changes in work tasks or/and the creation of new tasks.
Collateral damage has so far been largely avoided
Not to be forgotten: Following the discontinuation of Russian activities in the first half of 2022, it can hardly be assumed that this was «all there was» and that the divisions operated strictly separately from one another. An import-export business will have been as much a part of the daily routine as food trading on the 1,344-kilometer border with Russia. It is obvious that with 5.5 million inhabitants, the consequences are different than they would be in Germany, for example, with 84.3 million citizens.
Fazer’s shop-in-shop bakery business has developed rapidly: 13 new locations were opened in 2022 alone. Now there are 131 bakeries across Finland. Close cooperation with its customers has helped the group develop diverse concepts to meet consumer needs.
On the other hand, consumer buying behavior has changed significantly due to inflation, the uncertain world situation and increased energy and raw material costs. Consumers are more cautious when shopping and often opt for low-priced products in their shopping carts.
To strengthen profitability and competitiveness, Fazer needs to review its methods. The Group is considering changes aimed at adapting the organization of shop-in-shop bakeries and their operations to the fast-growing business and changes in the external operating environment. The goal is a more competitive and flexible operating model that would, among other things, also help to further strengthen staff well-being in the workplace.
Fazer to start negotiations on changes
As a result of the planned changes, Fazer will initiate negotiations on changes for the 660 employees of the shop-in-shop bakery organization in Finland. The negotiations will not affect the rest of Fazer Leipomot Oy’s staff, according to a statement from Helsinki.
The group estimates that the plans, if implemented, may result in the termination or modification of employment relationships or the creation of new job responsibilities. The negotiations may lead to the termination of a maximum of 96 employment relationships (14.5 percent of 660 MA), the employer and employees do not reach an agreement on a new employment contract and its terms.
Negotiations will begin this March. These will cover the reasons, effects and options for the measures, as well as possible transfers and training opportunities. In addition, issues of transfer security for eligible individuals will be negotiated.
Fazer supports its personnel during the change process
Should negotiations result in the termination of employment, Fazer will provide support to employees and their chances of re-employment. Vacancies in the Group are offered on a priority basis to those whose employment may be facing termination. To complement this, the Group works with Public Employment and Economic Services (TE Services).
After surviving the Corona pandemic and since Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the Fazer Group has been experiencing its own and rather special turn of events – given its formerly close and quite obvious business ties. Fortunately, the former bakery group has already completed its transformation into a globally active «Food Experience Company» to such an extent that the collateral damage seems to be kept within narrow limits (Photo: Fazer Group).