Greggs has announced it is ready to safely reopen stores after a series of successful trials within a small number of shops.
The on-the-go baker, which owns 2,050 stores, has tested various operational changes including new workwear, equipment and social distancing measures to support both customers and staff safety.
It now plans a “larger scale opening of selected shops” with around 800 to be reopened for takeaway customers on Thursday. It expects to reopen the rest of its estate in early July.
Shops will have floor markings to help customers maintain social distancing, protective screens at counters, protective workwear for staff, additional and more frequent cleaning measures, hand sanitiser and will encourage contactless payment.
Greggs expects sales to be “lower than normal” for a period of time, but warned it is not able to predict the full effects of social distancing on customer demand.
Therefore, few colleagues will remain on furlough until sales levels are restored and the product range has been limited to best-sellers.
“Looking forward, although great uncertainty remains, we are excited to be resuming our service for many customers this week,” CEO Roger Whiteside said.
“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.”
Due to the current uncertainty caused by the coronavirus, Greggs has temporarily suspended its new shop opening programme with the exception of a few stores. Over the year, it expects to open 60 shops and close 50.
The company is also asking landlords for rent reductions while accelerating delivery and click & collect services.
The FTSE 100 started the day in the green, up 1.9% at 6,177.62pts.
Risers included Marston’s, up 6% to 67.65p, WH Smith, up 1% to 1,155p and Pets at Home, up 3.2% to 234.12p.
Fallers saw SSP Group start the day down 2.3% at 267.20p and Premier Foods down 0.4% at 52.80p.
Yesterday in the City
The FTSE 100 closed down 0.7% at 6,061.40pts as fears of a second spike of the coronavirus pandemic sent global markets in the red.
Fallers saw Applegreen close down 6.3% at 328p, Compass Group down 3% at 1,115.50p and Coca Cola European Partners down 2.7% at €33.35.
Risers included McColl’s, up 9.6% to 47.90p, FeverTree up 3.3% to 1,936.50p and Glabia up 3.1% to €10.58.