Bakery chain Greggs to serve up store plans update

Bakery chain Greggs will this week update investors on its plans to open more stores in suburban neighbourhoods and retail parks as the shift to home working continues to hit high-street sales.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said a “big reshuffle” is on the cards in terms of Greggs’ store footprint and further details could be provided in a trading update on Thursday.

“It’s not that we have completely lost our insatiable appetite for pies and pastries, instead it’s where we want to buy them which has changed,” she said.

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“Footfall in high streets has not rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, despite the re-opening of hospitality and retail, partly due to the working-from-home trend. So, as well as focusing on deliveries to bring home the bacon once more, Greggs is opening more stores in suburban neighbourhoods and retail parks which have proved more resilient.”

Greggs has been opening more outlets in retail parks as the pandemic has hit footfall on high streets. Picture: contributed.

Ms Streeter also said the firm could unveil the launch of new menu items when it updates on trading.

“With some customers adopting more health-conscious behaviour during the pandemic, we could also expect Greggs’ to offer up new menu choices to try and replicate the hot sales of its vegan sausage roll,” she said.

The chain has sought to shore up trade by launching a delivery service with Just Eat. It noted in January that 600 of its shops now provide delivery services to catchments served by Just Eat and this is expected to increase to around 800 shops this year.

In March it announced it suffered a pre-tax loss of £13.7 million in 2020, compared with a £108.3m profit a year earlier.

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