Nationwide bakery chain Greggs plans to spend £36m refitting its shops and purchasing new equipment this year as it seeks to reinforce its presence in the UK food retail market.
The company is poised to shell out around £6m more on shop upgrades than it did in 2014, when investment on refurbishments and new kit cost it £29.6. In 2013 it spent around £26.5m.
In addition to the £36m earmarked for refits and shop equipment, Greggs is budgeting £10m for new shops and re-sites, which is more than double the amount it spent on the same area last year.
Greggs opened 30 new shops in 2014, including relocations but not including franchise stores. It intends to double that figure in 2015 as part of a growth push that will take its store network above 1,700 shops.
Meanwhile, it expects to complete between 200 and 220 refits this year, which is consistent with the last two years when it completed 213 and 216 re-fits respectively.
Greggs told investors this week that it was seeing “improved” market conditions in the UK. It remains encouraged by the continued demand for ‘food-on-the-go’, while low inflation is leading to rising disposable income.
The reshaping of the company’s estate profile is seeing Greggs pushing for an increased presence in travel, leisure and work centred catchments. It has also consolidated 79 in-store bakeries into regional bakery network.
Preliminary results for 2014 reveal that the chain grew sales by 5.5% in 2014 to £804m. Pre-tax profits increased 50% to almost £49.7m.