The entire complement of bakery machinery from St Helens-based Pimblett’s bakery in the UK is due to be auctioned online after the company went out of business last month – a tool that the auctioneers say is becoming increasingly common.
EBay-style auctions are proving popular, according to the auctioneers – “or e-auctioneers these days,” said Roy Tubman, machinery and business assets director at Sanderson Weatherall. Tubman told BakeryandSnacks.com: “Commercial assets are now being sold online, which allows people to bid from their desk from anywhere around the world. Although many people will still come and see the lots, the online system means that a lot of people are bidding without actually seeing the equipment.”
Instead, potential bidders can view photos online, and are requested to pay a refundable deposit of £300 (approximately €336 at today’s rates) to take part in the auction.
“We have been doing commercial auctions for over a hundred years, but the online system has only taken off in the last couple of years,” added Tubman.
All of the bakery’s equipment is included in the auction, from the main pie production line through to delivery vans, and even “cherished” bakery-themed vehicle number plates, which include T44 RTS and P11 MEN.
Pimblett and Sons bakery was well-known in the area for its meat-and-potato-filled ‘Pimblett’s Pies’, but it had fallen on hard times earlier in the year, when declining revenues forced it to sell and lease back its central bakery building. But this proved not to be enough to secure its recovery.
The family-owned bakery chain employed 140 workers, and although its ten high street shops were bought out by local rival Waterfields bakery, 60 jobs were lost at Pimbletts central bakery, as production was taken over by Waterfields.
A wide range of diverse equipment and bakery furniture is included in the auction, such as ovens, mixers, pastry sheeters and a flow-wrapping machine. Tubman said that all the equipment has been “very well maintained,” but he expects the star lot to be the main three-lane pie production line, which was installed at Pimblett’s 2003.
“We would hope to get about £40,000 for it,” he said.
The online bidding, via www.bidspotter.com, closes on Wednesday, January 28.