Pandemic likely to have taken bite out of Greggs' sales

The pandemic is likely to have taken a big bite out of sales at Greggs, but click and collect may aid its recovery, analysts have said.

Greggs is one of the most familiar names on the high street and the brand has been expanding into other areas such as industrial estates and retail parks. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Greggs is one of the most familiar names on the high street and the brand has been expanding into other areas such as industrial estates and retail parks. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The bakery chain, which is dependent on lunchtime workers and shoppers for its core income, is set to update the market on its Christmas trading performance this week.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at financial services group Hargreaves Lansdown, noted that after “a period of very flaky sales”, Greggs had rolled out its click and collect service nationwide.

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She said: “Footfall though remains lower in many high streets where much of its network of outlets are based and the recent lockdowns around the country which saw non-essential stores closed won’t have helped.

“Greggs still took its expansion programme out of the freezer in the autumn with a plan to open 20 new shops which can be easily accessed by car, to take advantage of changing snacking and shopping habits.

“It has also shown it is keeping up with the nation’s appetite for takeaways to eat at home by offering its products on the Just Eat app in many cities. This will help its recovery but it’s still likely to have been a very tough time for the business.

“The chain’s clever advertising campaigns have successfully targeted lunchtime workers over the past few years, but with millions forced to continue work from home, it will have to double its efforts to pitch its pastries to different markets.”

The firm is due to release its update this Wednesday.

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