Rain puts a dampener on Greggs sales

Greggs has posted a 2.3% fall in like-for-like sales for the first half of the year despite the attention it gained during ‘pastygate’.

GreggsStorePic

Sales rose 4.5% to £350m in the 26 weeks to June 30. Pre-tax profit dropped £0.8m to £16.5m.

The downturn in sales comes despite the media attention on the retailer over the past few months after the government proposed to charge VAT on freshly baked goods as part of its budget.

The tax was deeply unpopular, led to a campaign by Greggs to overturn the proposal and saw a number of politicians photographed eating a pasty. The government made a U-turn and dropped the tax the following month.

Chief executive Kennedy McMeikan says the retailer was particularly impacted by the record levels of rainfall in the second quarter of the year.

He added: “Conditions for consumers are likely to remain challenging in the second half and we will therefore continue our focus on delivering outstanding value for our customers. In addition we will make the Greggs brand more accessible to new customers through our shop opening programme and further development of our wholesaling and franchising channels.”

Greggs , which has over 1,600 shops across the UK, also said today that it would be opening a further 28 shops in motorway service stations across the country following a trial at two Moto locations. It is expected that 500 new jobs will be created through the openings.

McMeikan told Marketing Week in March that the retailer plans to run 2,000 UK outlets, with plans to open 70 new shops a year.

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