Covid-19: Greggs reopens 800 shops for takeaway only and demands monthly rentals

Greggs is to start reopening its vast store estate from 18 June with an initial 800 outlets for takeaway only that will include a small number offering a click & collect and delivery service, which will be extended across the country.

Having undertaken small scale trials in early May, Greggs is now confident of its operating procedures to begin a reopening programme that starts this week and will see all its stores operating by early-July.

Roger Whiteside, chief executive of Greggs, said: “Looking forward, although great uncertainty remains, we are excited to be resuming our service for many customers this week.  We are confident of our ability to adapt to market conditions in the short term while continuing to invest in the long-term growth of our business. I want to thank all of our 25,000 colleagues for their support in getting us to this point.”

Digital shopping will play a more important role in the future of Greggs, with the accelerated development of the company’s delivery and click & collect proposition. Initially these services will feature in 19 shops ahead of a roll-out to other catchments.

The impact of Covid-19 has brought about changes to Greggs’ property plans and it is to temporarily suspend its new opening programme with the exception of a few stores to which it is already “legally committed or we anticipate strong customer traffic”. The result of this is that only 60 stores will open while 50 will be closed across the year.

It has also approached all its landlords and informed them it is to move away from paying quarterly rentals and instead move to monthly arrangements from June.

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