GREGGS plans to open 100 new shops by the end of the year creating potentially hundreds of new jobs.
The British bakery chain saw sales rise by 14.7 per cent to £546million – and reckons its success is partly down to its new vegan sausage roll.
Today, it reported a pre-tax profit of £40.6million in the first six months of the years, up from £25.7million in the same period last year.
So far, 54 new branches have already opened around the UK in the first half of 2019 and this figure is expected to almost double by the end of the year.
Of the new stores, it expects around 40 of them to be franchised meaning they will be able to choose their own menu options as well as set their own prices.
Taking into account the 23 store closures so far this year, the new branch openings would see its portfolio jump from 2,000 branches to 2,100.
It is yet to confirm how many jobs it will create, but the opening of 130 new stores last year saw 1,500 new job opportunities.
In the report, he said: “The launch of the now famous vegan-friendly sausage roll took this to another level, with initial demand significantly outstripping our expectations.
“The product has remained extremely popular with customers and is now one of our top sellers, demonstrating the demand for greater dietary choice in food-on-the-go.”
Gregg’s also puts the success down to its new breakfast-on-the-go push, with Fairtrade coffee, the fresh porridge and hot breakfast boxes roll out proving to be a big hit among customers.
Diners are also so far loving the post-4pm deal which sees a slice of pizza and drink combo drop to just £2.
The baked-goods specialist plans to trial extending opening hours too in autumn, as well as looking into adding more drive-through stores.
It will also continue to trial the click and collect service, as well as expanding it’s delivery option to Just Eat customers in addition to Uber Eats.
But Mr Whiteside added that the retailers has already begun stockpiling “key ingredients” that could be affected by a “no deal” Brexit.
He added: “The negotiation of the UK’s exit terms from the European Union continues to present significant uncertainties in the months ahead, with the potential impact that a disorderly exit might have on supply chains, tariffs, exchange rates and consumer demand.”
It’s not what we’re used to hearing on the high street, where many shops are suffering from increase rents, business rates and a drop in footfall.
So far this year, Debenhams, Topshop owner Arcadia Group, Marks and Spencer and Monsoon are among the retailers who’ve had to close branches in order to stay afloat.
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team? Email us at email@example.com