Sausage roll, pasty and sandwich maker Greggs closed 26 shops on Monday night due to riots in London and Birmingham, and announced a profit slump of £1.2m to £17.3m yesterday for the half year to July 2.
In a media statement released yesterday, the company said: “Greggs will open shops if it safe to do so. Yesterday, several shops were closed early on police advice with the aim of enabling Greggs employees to be well away from any scene of rioting.”
The company added that its bakery teams worked throughout Monday night to make deliveries.“But, not surprisingly, there are a number of shops where access has not been possible.”
A spokesman said: “We can confirm that our Peckham shop has been affected by fire. But thankfully, our employees were clear of the premises, and only a small amount of shops have suffered damage at this point in time.”
In yesterday’s trading statement, Greggs ceo Ken McMeikan said that two extra bank holidays this year, one of which was the royal wedding, meant that a true like-for-like sales comparison wasn’t possible.
Despite the fall in profits, the baker recorded sales of £335m up 4.2% on 2010, and said it was on track to open 80 new stores this year.
Greggs said it had completed work on a new Newcastle bakery, and a specialist confectionery bakery in Penrith, and that both would start production in September.
“They will deliver significant improvements in operational efficiency compared with the facilities they replace, and will also provide increased capacity to support our continued retail expansion” the company said.
“In addition we are upgrading our savoury manufacturing plant in Newcastle, a £2.5m investment that will extend capacity by 10% from 2012.”
Shattered high streets
A Greggs spokesman said this afternoon that the company had nothing new to add to its statement regarding the riots.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has asked the Prime Minister to temporarily suspend business rates and National Insurance for firms affected by the disorder, alongside other measures to rebuild the UK's "shattered high streets".
In a letter to David Cameron, BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “As we emerge from the crisis it is essential that the Government gives a clear signal of support to the affected communities and the retailers at their heart. “
Robertson also calls for "supportive, expedient planing process for premises needing substantial repair", but said that affected businesses without insurance still had recourse to compensation under the Riots Damages Act 1886 for damage, lost stock and lost business.