Expansive bakery chain Greggs spent £36.3m setting up and equipping more than 280 stores last year, its accounts reveal.
The outlay was spread between 202 shop refurbishments, the conversion of 20 existing bakery cafés and the opening of 61 new shops (excluding franchises).
Greggs said that almost £7m — around one fifth of its spend — specifically went on equipment to support further growth in sales of coffee and hot sandwiches.
It also invested £7m in its programme of process and systems improvement.
The funds for shop fit-outs contributed to overall capital expenditure of £71.7m during 2015, which was significantly up on the £48.9m it spent the year before.
Finance director, Richard Hutton, said that for 2016 it is budgeting capital expenditure of round £85m.
“This will support further conversion of our core shops to the bakery food-on-the-go format, continued growth and diversification of the estate and more work on the upgrading of our process and systems platform,” he explained.
“We plan to refurbish around 200 shops in 2016 and expect to invest in 80-90 new company-managed shops, with further openings funded by franchise partners. The 2016 capital expenditure plan also includes the first phase of the proposed programme of investment in our supply chain.”
Greggs operates 1,700 stores in the UK, but it is aiming to reach the 2,000 mark in the next five years. It recently announced a comprehensive restructuring plan that will involve the closure of three bakery plants as it pursues a more consolidated model to support its growth.