Greggs plans assault on food to go market

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Bakery retailer Greggs has outlined plans to focus on food on the go, following disappointing half-year results.

Although the group’s total sales were up 3.4% in the 26 weeks to June 29, its like-for-like own shop sales were down 2.9% with profits also dropping £4.6m over the period.

Greggs chief executive Roger Whiteside said the chain needed to hone its focus on food to go to cope with changing customer demand.

“While over many years Greggs has developed a leading position in the bakery market, customer preferences are shifting towards ‘food on the go’ and the category is a £6bn market growing at an annual rate of 9%,” he said. “While Greggs has defended its position as the leading retail bakery business it has underperformed the food on the go market as new entrants and existing competitors have rapidly expanded shop numbers and better met customer demands.”

To help achieve this goal, Greggs plans to refit 240 stores in its estate and open up to 30 new sites by the end of 2013. It has also streamlined its shop formats, creating a combined ‘Bakery food on the go’ store rather than two separate offerings. It has trialled the new format in nine of its stores and reported double-digit sales increases at these sites. It will roll out this new format across all of its planned refits and new stores.

Readers' comments (1)

  • This to me just shows the importance of learning from what people are doing wrong as well as doing right.
    A huge brand like Greggs has to roll out a substantial operation that takes time and money; as independents, we can react instantly to give us the edge. If we wait, then we are lost. It'd be interesting to hear of innovative food to go offerings that retailers have in place that are ahead of the curve.

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