Dunnes Stores hopes to make plenty of dough as it rolls out trial bakeries in at least six of its stores in coming weeks, the Irish Independent has learned.
Plans for the bakeries -- which won't bake products from scratch -- are well advanced and come as the chain reacts to a similar offering from German discounter Lidl, according to retail sources.
Should the trial be successful, it's almost certain Dunnes will introduce the concept to a larger number of outlets.
Items such as breads and pastries can attract massive margins, making them an attractive offering for retailers.
But full-service bakeries such as those operated by Musgrave-owned Superquinn are expensive to fit out and their labour costs can account for as much as 85pc of the bakery overheads.
By comparison, typical labour costs on a supermarket floor are between 8pc and 9pc of overall costs.
Dunnes already sells items that arrive as par-baked frozen products, which are then finished off in ovens at the stores.
The new bakery concept at Dunnes would bring the ovens in plain view of customers, with the counters having dedicated staff.