Greggs set to extend opening hours and delivery services - but prices could rise

Greggs has confirmed plans to extend opening hours and offer more delivery across its stores this year.

The food chain said 300 of its shops will now trade until at least 8pm and more stores will open later by the end of 2022.

But customers could face further price rises, after the bakery chain warned that its costs would rise by 9% this year.

This is four percentage points more than predicted at the start of this year.

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    It also comes after Greggs upped its prices by 5p to 10p.

    What has Greggs said about the move?

    The company said: “The evening daypart represents the largest segment of the food-to-go market by value, but is the area where Greggs currently has the lowest penetration.

    “By extending trading hours, addressing menu options and offering delivery we believe that Greggs can increase its participation in the evening market, further leveraging our investment in facilities that are under-utilised after 4pm.”

    Greggs is planning on opening 150 new stores by the end of the year.

    The company is also considering increasing the number to 3,000 "in the coming years".

    The bakery giant will also offer more delivery services in order to gain more evening sales.

    At the moment, delivery through Just Eat is available across 1,180 shops - up from 1,000 at the start of the year.

    Greggs said: “The majority of the new trade we have generated through delivery is incremental and that it offers additional access to Greggs at times when customers are unable to visit our shops themselves.”

    Does Greggs have any other plans?

    The food chain does have other plans including allowing customers to customise their sandwich fillings as part of a new trial.

    Diners can only currently customise pizza toppings when ordering through its click and collect service.

    Roisin Currie, the chief executive who took over from Roger Whiteside earlier this year, said: “In a market where consumer incomes are under pressure Greggs offers exceptional value for customers looking for food and drink on the go.

    “We are well positioned to navigate the widely publicised challenges affecting the economy and continue to have a number of exciting growth opportunities ahead, with a clear strategy for expansion.”

    She added: “We remain confident in Greggs’ ability to deliver continued success.”

    What did Greggs reveal about its financial position?

    In its latest financial results Greggs revealed its sales jumped by 27.1% in the 26 weeks to 2 July to total £694.5 million.

    This is compared with £546.2 million a year earlier.

    But its half-year profits remained largely flat year-on-year at £55.8 million compared with £55.5 million last year.

    Greggs blamed this on business rates being brought back into effect following the Covid pandemic.

    The chain also blamed factors such as an increase in VAT and higher levels of cost inflation.