Greggs has introduced plans to speed up the tempo of recent retailer openings regardless of admitting disruption from workers and ingredient shortages within the UK provide chain disaster.
The bakery chain, which had admitted “temporary interruptions” within the provide of some elements simply over a month in the past, mentioned on Tuesday that it was anticipating price pressures to solely enhance because the winter acquired into gear – elevating the prospect of these being handed on to prospects.
It revealed a 3.5% rise in like-for-like gross sales within the third quarter of its monetary 12 months in comparison with pre-COVID disaster ranges regardless of the headwinds going through the enterprise and wider economic system which are threatening shortages over the important thing Christmas season.
Greggs, which has greater than 2,100 shops throughout the UK, mentioned it benefited from “staycations” throughout August and that impact continued into September as extra folks returned to workplaces.
“Topic to any sudden COVID disruption we count on the full-year end result to be forward of our earlier expectations,” it mentioned.
The corporate added that the sturdy gross sales efficiency had given it confidence to speed up the tempo of recent retailer openings to 150 web new outlets subsequent 12 months from 100 anticipated throughout 2021.
That was regardless of the present issue hiring new staff amid record vacancy levels.
Greggs mentioned it was additionally trying to lengthen night buying and selling to extra outlets and develop app-generated and supply gross sales.
The corporate mentioned: “Greggs has not been resistant to the well-publicised pressures on staffing and provide chains and we now have seen some disruption to the supply of labour and provide of elements and merchandise in current months.
“Meals enter inflation pressures are additionally rising; while we now have short-term safety because of our ahead shopping for positions we count on prices to extend in the direction of the tip of 2021 and into 2022.”
Rising prices are a consequence of many components affecting the worldwide economic system from vitality payments to delivery prices.
Domestically, the acute HGV driver scarcity and total lack of staff – from the likes of expert butchers to even store assistants – have mixed to push up wages and erode margins additional.
Whereas the inflation drawback is actually Europe-wide, it’s extra acute on this nation as Brexit legal guidelines restrict immigration for work functions – ending the EU “open door” coverage.
Whereas the federal government has bowed to business stress and launched a brief visa scheme to confess lorry drivers from the continent, companies have warned the time-limited scheme, till Christmas, will fail to lure sufficient folks.
A key a part of the PM’s post-Brexit technique is that wages and employment can solely develop if the UK weans itself off low cost labour from overseas.
Of different firms reporting on Tuesday, furnishings retailer ScS mentioned it was additionally enduring disruption.
“We’re cognisant of the continued challenges we, and plenty of different companies, are going through close to the availability chain, together with driver shortages, uncooked materials will increase and delivery prices and delays,” it warned buyers.
Shares in Greggs rose by greater than 4% on the open.
Ross Hindle, analyst at Third Bridge, mentioned that whereas gross sales had been encouraging Greggs confronted a worth drawback within the months forward.
“From a pricing standpoint, Greggs selected to cross on the chancellor’s VAT low cost to their prospects.
“They now face the difficult problem of placing their costs again up when VAT will increase to 12.5% on the finish of September, and 20% in 2022.
“This may occasionally imply short-term margin stress for the group particularly within the face of rising inflation.”