Expanded delivery coverage and longer opening hours were key contributors to Greggs’ full-year sales growth, with a new production line set to support further outlet expansion in 2024
Greggs’ partnership with Uber Eats now covers 710 stores nationwide | Photo credit: Greggs
Value-focused Greggs has credited delivery and later opening hours as key drivers behind strong 2023 sales.
The UK food-to-go and coffee chain achieved 19.6% year-on-year sales growth to £1.8bn ($2.3bn) and posted net cash of £195m ($248m), up from £192m ($244m) in 2022.
Company-owned stores, which make up 80% of Greggs 2,473-strong estate, saw like-for-like sales increase 13.7%, with the chain reaching 500 franchised stores with a petrol station outlet in East Lothian in December 2023.
Greggs’ partnership with Uber Eats, which commenced in August 2023, now covers 710 stores across the UK. The value-focused operator has also offered delivery via Just Eat since 2020, with the platform available from more than 1,300 outlets.
Longer opening hours also yielded positive results for Greggs. In March 2023, the business set a target to grow the number of stores with evening trade from 500 to 800 by the end of the year. In October, Greggs said trade after 4pm generated 8.3% of sales at company-owned stores in the first half of the year.
The Newcastle upon Tyne-based business opened a record 220 new outlets last year but closed 75. Of the closures, 42 were classed as ‘relocations’, which Greggs said drives additional footfall to more profitable sites.
With a strong pipeline of new site opportunities, Greggs expects to open up to 160 net new stores in 2024.
“2023 was a year of further progress by Greggs. We enter 2024 with plans to continue to invest in our shops and expand supply chain capacity to deliver the growth strategy, supported by our strong balance sheet. Our value-for-money offer, and the quality of our freshly prepared food and drink continue to evolve and position us well for further progress in the year ahead,” said Roisin Currie, CEO, Greggs.
With inflationary pressures abating and good forward cover on food, packaging and energy in place, Greggs expects a more stable cost base across the next 12 months. The food-to-go and coffee chain also forecasts higher wages in the UK will ease the squeeze on disposable income.
Greggs will continue to bolster its supply chain network this year to support its growth plans. The logistics capacity of its Birmingham and Amesbury distribution centres are currently being expanded and due to be completed this year. Additionally, a fourth production line is being commissioned at Balliol Park in Newcastle upon Tyne which Greggs said will provide ‘significant additional manufacturing capacity'.