Retail bakery firms Greggs has announced its 2012 expansion plans, including the roll-out of its Moment coffee shops and diversifying from its traditional high street presence.

Ken McMeikan, chief executive of Greggs, spoke at a press conference yesterday (Wednesday 11 January) on the company’s aim to open two or three of its new concept Greggs Moment outlets in the next year.

The news comes just as the company released details of its performance during Christmas and throughout 2011, in which it opened 84 net new shops, bringing its overall store total to 1,571 at the end of December.

Speaking about the Greggs Moment concept, McMeikan said: “We haven’t decided on locations yet, but it might make sense to keep it up in the north near our Newcastle bakery.

"We’re pleased with its performance so far and the prices we charge for food, coffee and other beverages at Greggs Moment are up to 30% less than some of the big coffee shop players in the UK market, including Starbucks and Costa.

“Coffee sales are growing in our existing Greggs outlets, so it’s a good market to go into.”

Greggs will be looking to open around 90 new UK stores in 2012, 37 of which will appear away from the high street at locations such as petrol forecourts, industrial and retail parks, train stations and airports. The company said around 30% of its stores opened last year did not appear in a traditional town centre location.

McMeikan added: “We are pleased with our high street stores and believe in them, which is why we feel there is still substantial opportunities there. But we are always looking for other avenues such as our trial with motorway service provider Moto Hospitality, which we decided to launch during the third week of January, as it will be a quieter month.”

Greggs also spoke of its plans to open a new bakery in Wiltshire, in order to establish a presence in the south-west of England, but revealed it would happen no earlier than 2013. It was also looking to find suitable Scotland growth opportunities, focusing on northern areas such as Aberdeen, as well as East Anglia and the south coast of England as other target regions.

To find out more about Greggs’ performance over Christmas and during 2011, read the 13 January issue of British Baker.