| UK

Greggs rises above challenging trading conditions to accelerate UK store growth

Food-to-go and coffee chain increases outlet growth forecast and plans to double turnover despite ongoing hospitality staff shortages and supply chain disruption across the UK

Greggs currently operates more than 2,100 locations in the UK | Photo credit: Greggs

Greggs will accelerate the pace of store openings to 150 new outlets next year, up from 100 expected in 2021, as part of ambitions to double turnover to £2.4bn ($3.3bn) over the next five years. 

The food-to-go and coffee chain reported a 3.5% rise in like-for-like sales in the third quarter of its financial year compared to two years ago. 

The company credited its sales growth in August to a ‘staycation’ effect, with positive trading continuing into September as office worker footfall increased. 

However, Greggs, which operates more than 2,100 locations, said it had not been immune to staffing and supply chain pressures and had seen disruption to the availability of labour and supply of ingredients and products in recent months. 

"Whilst we have short-term protection as a result of our forward buying positions, we expect costs to increase towards the end of 2021 and into 2022," it said. 

Rising sales and outlet expansion plans indicate a strong pandemic recovery for Greggs, which experienced a sharp loss of revenue from low commuter and office worker footfall during Covid-19 lockdowns. 

The food-to-go and coffee chain reported profits of £55.5m for six months to 3 July 2021, compared with a £65.2m loss for the same period last year.   

In August 2021, the UK-based chain also announced plans to open 100 new stores by the end of the year, creating 500 new jobs, with ambitions to expand to at least 3,000 total stores.

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