LEGAL | Staff Reporter, UK

Greggs resumes openings amidst cost-cutting

It will open 20 stores, most of which will be in petrol stations, retail parks and supermarkets.

As sales slowly recover from the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown, Greggs said it will resume store openings, planning to open another 20 this year.

The chain, which has 2,039 shops, said the new stores will primarily be in petrol forecourts, retail parks and supermarkets rather than the high street.
Prior to the pandemic, it had planned to open 100 new shops this year.

After a “difficult” month in August - missing out on the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme - Greggs said sales this September returned to 76% of their pre-pandemic levels and has reopened customer seating with physical distancing in 100 of its larger shops.

In late July, Greggs - employing some 25,000 people - warned about job cuts once the government’s furlough scheme ends on 31 October. To minimise job losses, the bakery has been consulting with trade unions and employee representatives on reducing working hours in up to half its outlets.

“With business activity levels remaining below normal for the foreseeable future we must change the way we work to be as productive and flexible as we can in order to protect as many jobs as possible for the long term,” it said in a trading update.

The update also follows a slew of announcements from the bakery chain, including a team up with Just Eat to launch a new 'roller-skate' delivery service across the country. Its Pumpkin Spice Latte will also make a return to shops nationwide on 1 October.

Greggs also confirmed it temporarily halted production at their Balliol manufacturing facility after some colleagues tested positive for COVID-19.

“Following a small number of colleagues having tested positive for COVID-19 at our Balliol manufacturing facility, we have taken the decision to temporarily stop production as a precautionary measure to keep our teams as safe as possible. We are now working closely with the local Health Protection Team to ensure that we minimise any possible impact to the wider community in Newcastle and the surrounding areas. We do not foresee any stock shortages in our shops at this time,” a spokesperson for the bakery chain said in a statement sent to QSR Media.

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