Greggs, the Newcastle-based bakery and “food-on-the-go” retail giant, said on Tuesday it intends to re-open around 800 shops to takeaway customers on Thursday, June 18.
Greggs shares rose about 6% to £17.60 to give the firm a stock market value of around £1.7 billion. The firm’s shares were above £22 in early March.
Greggs said its staff are being trained in a range of protective measures including:
· Floor markings and signage to help customers maintain social distancing
· Protective screens at counters
· Protective workwear
· Additional cleaning measures
· Hand sanitiser
· Encouragement of contactless card payment
In a stock exchange statement, Greggs said: “We are not able to predict the impact of social distancing on our ability to trade or on customer demand.
“However, our capacity to operate will be restricted by size of shop and we must anticipate that sales may be lower than normal for some time.
“This will require us to maintain a proportion of our colleagues on furlough, either fully or partially, until sales levels begin returning to normal.
“In anticipation of lower sales, we have limited our initial product range to our best sellers and therefore a number of our manufacturing operational teams will remain furloughed until demand reaches a level that justifies the addition of remaining product lines.”
Greggs CEO Roger Whiteside said: “Looking forward, although great uncertainty remains, we are excited to be resuming our service for many customers this week.
“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.”