We all love Greggs. Oh, wait…
Remember the pasty tax furore? When the Chief Executive of Greggs marched into Downing Street brandishing a petition signed by 300,000 people protesting at the thought of paying extra for warm bread products from their favourite baker? Greggs was so loved and adored by the British public (or at least those of us who weren’t privately-educated cabinet members) that the campaign couldn’t fail.
And indeed it didn’t. Greggs fortunes turned- the company’s share price had fallen after the tax was announced, and it bounced back up again when the tax was scrapped. We all love Greggs.
Or not. Even after all the free publicity Greggs gained from the pasty tax campaign, the latest sales figues show a fall in sales of 3.5% for the last quarter, down on the previous quarter’s drop of 1.8%. It seems we actually don’t all love Greggs quite that much.
So why are sales down? Either we don’t all love our pasties as much as we claimed, or something else is going on. Greggs are blaming the weather, because apparently we eat more pasties when it’s really sunny than when it’s persisting down with rain, but their recent marketing campaigns like Lunch for Less, with baguettes for £1 may also have had an effect.
However, Greggs are still planning to open 28 more shops at motorway service stations, and although the half year profits to 30 June were down 4.6% on the previous year, at £16.5 million we think there is still room for promotional pasty prices to entice us back through their non-doors.