Britain’s most popular bread maker yesterday pulled the plug on small shops because of the coronavirus crisis.
Stores which took fewer than 20 loaves were left without bread after Warburtons suddenly announced it was stopping deliveries.
And that was despite a promise from the Bolton, Greater Manchester firm with a turnover of more than £570million to scale down variety “to get more bread to more shops.”
Around 2,000 corner and village shops across the country are affected out of normal daily deliveries to 20,000 stores.
One Hampshire small shop owner said it made a nonsense of locking down communities.
He added: “If suppliers won’t deliver products then people will have to go out hunting for basics like bread.”
Romsey Tory MP Caroline Nokes said: “Many shops affected are in isolated rural areas where there are few bus services.
“One solution would be to deliver to one central point in an area so shopkeepers could collect from there.”
But Tearmh Taylor of Warburtons said: “We just don’t have enough drivers for all our vehicles.
“We are baking as much as we can to get it out to as many people as possible.”
Warburtons deliver two million products a day and are the second-best selling food and drink brand in the UK after Coca-Cola.