Greggs plans to grow sales in the traditionally quiet trading periods of early morning and late afternoon as it continues with its plan to add another 600 stores to its 1,400-shop chain.
The retail bakery is developing a range of new products designed to attract more customers on their way to and from work, following the success of its new sausage and bacon breakfast rolls, said chief executive Ken McMeikan as he revealed solid results for 2009.
Over 500,000 of the breakfast rolls, which retail for £1.29, were sold in the first four weeks of their launch in 1,300 stores last month. Coffee sales have also benefited from a £1.99 deal for a hot drink and breakfast roll.
"The early morning and late afternoon are quieter periods for us. We’re looking at increasing the amount we offer for breakfast. We also see an opportunity in the take-home market. Right now, less than 2% of our sales come after 5pm, but there’s a whole workforce on the move at that time, travelling home," said McMeikan. "From a low base, coffee is 34% up in the first 10 weeks. We have one million customers but we are only selling 30,000-40,000 coffees a day. That’s a growth opportunity."
Greggs’ preliminary results, for the 53 weeks ending 2 January 2010, saw a pre-tax profit of £48.8m, up 8% on the previous year. Sales were up 4.8% to £658m, with like-for-like sales up 0.8%.
The bakery chain has budgeted capital expenditure of between £45-£50m for 2010 as it starts to implement its plan of adding a further 600 outlets to its portfolio of 1,400 shops. Funds will be spent on opening 50-60 new stores in 2010. Work will also begin in the second half of the year on new replacement bakeries in Penrith and Newcastle.