Greggs is aiming to grow its estate to almost 2,000 stores in the coming year with the opening of up to 130 new sites.
News of plans to accelerate its store openings came as Greggs reported a 7.4% year-on-year increase in total sales in its full-year results (52 w/e 30 December 2017), with sales from its company-owned stores up 3.7%.
During the year, the business took its estate to 1,854 shops with the opening of 131 new shops, 45 of which were franchised units, and the closure of 41. While this was a net increase of 90 sites, the company today (16 January) said it planned to make a net increase of between 110 and 130 shops this year.
Greggs also converted 132 of its company-managed shops to its ‘bakery food on-the-go’ format while its franchise partners refurbished 10 units. The company plans to refurbish 100 shops in the coming year.
Having made major changes to its manufacturing and distribution structure last year, including the closure of a number of sites, the business said 2018 would be a “record year” for supply chain investment.
Greggs has already commissioned a new national manufacturing facility for production of small cakes and muffins at its Leeds site, and will be installing further centralised manufacturing operations to increase capacity.
The company said its classic lines and seasonal products such as its Festive Bake and mince pies had performed well, adding it had introduced a focaccia-style pizza for the new year.
“We finished 2017 well, delivering our 17th consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales growth, and anticipate we will report full-year results for 2017 in line with our previous expectations,” said Greggs CEO Roger Whiteside.
“In the year ahead, we will continue to focus on delivering the outstanding value and taste Greggs is famous for. 2018 will be a record year for investment in our supply chain and we intend to increase the rate of new shop openings as we continue to grow Greggs as a leading food-on-the-go brand.”