Greggs begins consultation on employment costs
Greggs has announced that is beginning a consultation with unions on reducing employment costs after it conducted a review of every part of the business.
With the government’s furlough scheme ending in October, the retailer said it is taking steps to ensure that its employment costs reflect the estimated level of demand from November onwards.
In a statement, Greggs said: “With business activity levels remaining below normal for the foreseeable future we must change the way we work to be as productive and flexible as we can in order to protect as many jobs as possible for the long term.”
The retailer is now proposing a series of changes although it will be looking to minimise the risk of job losses by negotiating reduced hours in its shops.
Greggs said: “Our immediate priority is to complete the consultation with colleagues on the proposed changes to resource levels. We will do this with regard to our values and the best long-term interests of the business as a whole. We will update on the expected financial impact of these changes when the consultation ends in November.”
The retailer has also given an update on trading in which it said like-for-like sales improved to 76.1% 0f 2019 levels in the four weeks to 26 September after a “challenging” August. Since reopening its full estate on 2 July, like-for-like sales in company-managed shops have averaged 71.2% of the 2019 level in the 12 weeks to 26 September.
Greggs is currently developing its digital offering and has made its click and collect service available in all shops. It is also rolling out a home delivery service in partnership with Just Eat.
In the 39 weeks to 26 September, Greggs opened 38 new shops and closed 49 to leave a total of 2,039 shops across the UK. It is now expecting to open a net 20 shops in 2020, mainly in locations that can be accessed by car.
Looking ahead, the retailer said: “The outlook for trading remains uncertain, with rising Covid-19 infection rates leading to increasing risks of supply chain interruption and further restrictions on customer activities out of the home. In these challenging conditions our teams continue to work hard and have proven our ability to operate with social distancing and adapt to new digital channels.”
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