UK / Corona crisis

Greggs sales on the road to recovery

Demand is picking up at the British bakery chain Greggs. The range of products reduced after the lockdown is now being expanded again.
Demand is picking up at the British bakery chain Greggs. The range of products reduced after the lockdown is now being expanded again.

At 76.1 percent of the previous year's sales the Greggs bakery chain's sales are in the four-week period up to September 26, 2020. That is a clear upward trend compared to a challenging August, the company reports. In the first twelve weeks since the relaunch of the brand in the UK, comparable sales (in the own-brand stores) would have been 71.2 percent of the previous year's level.

The challenges for the baked goods & snacks specialist were, on the one hand, the closed seating - which excluded Greggs from participating in the government's "Eat Out to Help Out" programme - and high temperatures in August.

However, increased out-of-home activity in September now appeared to have led to a recovery in customer visits, the company said. In response, the company is expanding the product range, which was reduced after the relaunch. In addition, seating will be reopened in 100 of the larger Greggs units.

The company is satisfied with the acceptance of the digital offer. Via Click & Collect, customers can pre-order and pay for their products and pick them up in the store of their choice. The cooperation with Just Eat is also developing positively. Most recently, the delivery share was 2.6 percent of total store sales.

Plus 20 stores in 2020

In 2020, Greggs opened 38 new stores and closed 49 units, bringing the total unit count to 2,039 stores (including 1,720 owned stores and 319 franchises). With a better assessment of the situation, the pipeline has been reactivated and plans are now underway to increase the number of stores (net) by 20 by the end of 2020 - mainly the new locations should be easily accessible by car. In addition to the stores, all production facilities have now been reopened.

"We remain alert, the safety of our employees is our top priority," the company stated. In August there was a Covid 19 case at the Leeds distribution centre. "We worked closely with Leeds City Council and Public Health England to resolve the situation quickly and professionally. There was some impact on product availability in the region over a five-day period, but this was minimised by supporting other sites in the network," says a statement by Greggs.

In September, another case was registered at one of the production centres in Newcastle upon Tyne. As a precautionary measure, this production facility was temporarily closed, although the distribution of stock is not affected. "It is likely that this pattern of disruption to operations will be a constant challenge on the supply side, as we prioritise the safety of our employees and do our part to manage covids related risks," it states.