Greggs set to extend opening hours but could hike prices

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The grocery chain said 300 of its stores would trade until at least 8pm but warned its costs would rise 9% this year

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Greggs has confirmed plans to extend opening hours and offer more delivery at its stores this year.

The grocery chain said 300 of its stores will now trade until at least 8pm and more stores will open later by the end of 2022.

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But customers could expect more price hikes after the bakery chain warned its costs would rise 9% this year.

That is four percentage points more than forecast at the beginning of this year.

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It also comes after Greggs increased its prices by 5p to 10p.

What did Greggs say about the move?

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The company said: “The evening part of the day represents the largest segment of the food-to-go market by value, but is where Greggs currently has the lowest market penetration.

“By extending trading hours, addressing menu options and offering delivery, we believe Greggs can increase its attendance at the evening market and leverage our investment in facilities that are underutilized after 4pm.”

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Greggs plans to open 150 new stores by the end of the year.

The company is also considering increasing the number to 3,000 “in the coming years.”

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The bakery giant will also offer more delivery services to drive more evening sales.

Just Eat delivery is currently available in 1,180 stores – up from 1,000 at the start of the year.

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Greggs said, “Most of the new trade we’ve generated through delivery is incremental, providing additional access to Greggs during times when customers are unable to visit our stores themselves.”

Does Greggs have any other plans?

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The grocery chain has other plans, including allowing customers to customize their sandwich fillings as part of a new trial.

Guests can currently only customize pizza toppings when ordering through the click-and-collect service.

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Roisin Currie, the Chief Executive who succeeded Roger Whiteside earlier this year, said: “In a market where consumer incomes are under pressure, Greggs offers exceptional value for customers on the go for food and looking for drinks.

“We are well positioned to address the widespread challenges affecting the economy and continue to have a number of exciting growth opportunities ahead of us, with a clear expansion strategy.”

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She added, “We remain confident that Greggs will continue to thrive.”

What has Greggs revealed about his finances?

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In its latest financial results, Greggs revealed that in the 26 weeks to 2nd July its sales have increased by 27.1% to a total of £694.5 million.

This compares to £546.2m last year.

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But half-year profits were broadly flat year-on-year at £55.8m compared with £55.5m last year.

Greggs blamed business tariffs reintroduced after the Covid pandemic.

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The chain also blamed factors such as a sales tax hike and higher cost inflation.

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