Greggs, the largest UK-based bakery chain recently announced plans to open 800 of its outlets for takeaway orders after temporary closures during the COVID-19 crisis. The bakery chain owns over 2,050 outlets and is planning to reopen all of the remaining shops from the onset of July.

With a trial of 20 in the Newcastle area, Greggs first began to reopen shops during the lockdown in May. Initially it said that they will be allowing customers in the shops, it then backtracked and stated that re-openings would be behind closed doors.

Around April, Greggs planned to reopen 700 stores from 8 June 2020, including 150 franchise shops, and have all stores open again by 1 July, when the job retention scheme by the government was due to end. However, the government’s scheme has been extended to the end of October. Greggs gave a recent update about is plans to reopen 800 outlets this week.

The bakery business chain said that there will be floor markings in the shops to aid customers maintain social distancing. Also, there will be PPE equipment for staff, additional protective screens at the counters along with proper cleaning and more hand sanitizers. The customers would be encouraged to make contactless payments.

Roger Whiteside, Chief Executive reportedly said that the team is looking forward, be resuming the service for many customers this week, although there is a lot of uncertainty around it.

The bakery chain has temporarily suspended its new shop opening program except for shops where it expects strong customer traffic or is legally committed. Greggs said that it would close about 50 shops and open about 60 new ones, this year. The company is also approaching landlords for rent waivers or reductions and has sped up plans for click & collect services and delivery.

As coronavirus restrictions ease, shops and businesses are beginning to restart their operations.  The UK government has gradually eased lockdown restrictions and non-essential High Street shops are finally reopening in England.


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