Long-time Greggs CEO Roger Whiteside is to retire from the role with retail and property director Roisin Currie to step up at the company’s AGM in May 2022.
Roisin, who joined the firm in 2010 from Asda where she held the role of people director, is currently responsible for Greggs’ retail operations across the UK. She also leads the development of its shop estate and delivery business in partnership with Just Eat and has played a key role in the development of the strategic plans the business set out last year.
In the interim period Currie will be appointed CEO designate and as an executive director with effect from 1 February 2022. Whiteside will also remain available to support the transition process until his notice expires on 5 January 2023.
Whiteside described Currie as “a great leader” who has “played a key role in the development of the business over many years, most recently in shaping our ambitious plans for further growth”.
Discussing her promotion, Currie added: “Having been a senior executive in the business for 12 years I understand our values-driven approach and the contribution that our 25,000 colleagues make each day. We have created a plan for strong growth and further strategic development of Greggs and I look forward to driving this in the coming years.”
The news comes as Greggs posts its sales for the financial year to January 2022 which show a two-year increase of 5.3% to £1.23bn.
In the fourth quarter of 2021 like-for-like sales in company managed shops grew by 0.8% with a ‘strong performance’ in October followed by challenging conditions later in the year as consumers responded to precautionary messages related to the new coronavirus variant.
The fourth quarter results were delivered against a ‘backdrop of continued disruption to staffing and supply chains’. Greggs said staff had done a ‘magnificent job’ coping under these circumstances and, as such, it has brought forward the planned 2022 pay awards for operational teams by five months.
Greggs also made progress on growing its retail estate in 2021 with 131 new shops, including 50 franchised units, opened and 28 closed taking the total number to 2,181.
There’s a ‘strong pipeline’ of new shop opportunities, it added, with its estate expected to grow by 150 net new stores in the year ahead.
“We enter 2022 with a strong financial position that will support our ambitions to accelerate the rate of growth in our shop estate whilst developing new digital channels and extending the trading day,” Whiteside said. “Whilst conditions in the first few months of 2022 are likely to remain challenging, we are confident that we are well placed to make progress on the many attractive opportunities that lie ahead.”