High street bakery chain Greggs has revealed plans to open 800 stores across the UK later this month.
Chief executive Roger Whiteside announced this morning that the company is preparing to open more branches from 18 June following successful delivery, collection and walk-in trials in North East England.
Greggs is in the process of selecting around 800 stores, including 150 franchise branches, to open in two weeks time with social distancing measures in place.
It plans to open all stores with new safety measures in place by 1 July.
Greggs’ share price jumped 1.87 per cent following this morning’s announcement.
“All shops will open with our new tested operational measures in place,” Whiteside said in a statement.
“And although they will open with a reduced range, this will be a significant step in us helping the nation get back up and running and serving the communities that we operate in.
“We’ll continue to look for the best ways to serve customers whilst keeping everyone safe, and as long as we can continue to do this, the final phase in our plan is to open all shops with our new operational measures in place by 1 July.”
Greggs was forced to conduct intitial reopening trials in Newcastle behind closed doors last month to avoid attracting big crowds during the coronavirus lockdown.
Analysts said this morning that Greggs is well placed to steal market share from cafe chain rivals that rely on sit-in customers.
“We believe Greggs is well positioned to take share from competitors that are forced to permanently close shops, or that do not have the firepower to match Greggs’ growth investments,” Jefferies said in a note to investors.