Greggs aims to open 40 more shops during 2008. Chairman Derek Netherton revealed the plans to the bakery retailer’s shareholders on 13 May.
Like-for-like sales in the 19 weeks to 10 May were up by 4.7%. Netherton said growth had slowed since the beginning of the year, due to poor weather, the timing of its marketing strategy and a "less favourable pattern of Easter holiday trading".
He added: "There is also widespread evidence of reduced footfall on the high street, as consumers react to the tightening economic climate."
Greggs has opened 18 new shops and closed 10 since the beginning of the year, bringing its estate to 1,376.
Netherton added: "We have a significant number of further openings in the pipeline, which should ensure that we comfortably achieve our target of adding at least 40 net new shops to our portfolio during 2008."
A spokeswoman told British Baker that, since last year, Greggs has tested extended opening hours, new branding and range changes.
As well as extending opening hours at stores across the UK, Greggs has opened concept stores, including Fresh to Go in Lincoln, which makes up fresh sandwiches to order, and Baked, an upmarket store in Leeds.
=== In Short ===
== Hollands Flour Distributors ==
We wish to make it clear that in the report in our issue of 4 April about the use by Hollands Craft Bakery of flour from Poland, we did not mean to suggest that this flour was in any way inferior in quality to that produced by UK mills and regret any inference to the contrary.
== Sparkling breakfast ==
London and South East Master Bakers had a "great success" with its Edwardian breakfast on 20 April, raising £2,500 for the Bakers’ Benevolent Society. Eighty-seven guests enjoyed a bucks fizz reception and five-course meal at the event. The bakers will present the charity with a cheque at their open day on 15 June, and hope to repeat the event next year.
== Richemont Club reports good year ==
On 29 April, Chatwins opened its doors to the Richemont Club of Great Britain, to host the club’s annual general meeting. Outgoing president Trevor Mooney reported on a good year, in which the profile of the club had been raised considerably. The annual competition last year - held in conjunction with the Bakers’ Fair - had been extremely well supported by British Baker.
== Hot-to-trot savouries ==
Hot savouries will be the most popular snack within the bakery category this year, according to visitors on British Baker’s website, bakeryinfo.co.uk. Hot savouries got 45% of the vote on our online poll, while filled sandwiches and rolls achieved 33%. Visit the site for the latest news, updated daily.
== European robotics centre opens ==
Europe’s only Centre for Food Robotics and Automation (CenFRA) is relocating to Doncaster and will open on 22 May.