Star comment: Greggs are on a roll with big expansion plans
Keep it simple, maintain good quality, offer a good price, and provide what the people want. Those are the rules that Greggs sticks to and, like them or loathe them, the kings of sausage rolls are enjoying ongoing success at a time when others are struggling.
From modest north east bakers, the brand has expanded and now has an ambition to create 3,000 in the UK. Greggs has expanded from the supplier of loaves to feeding a nation, from breakfast baps to lunchtime bakes and cakes for tea. It has been clever in exploring new avenues, opening inside Primark department stores and in train stations and airports. And it has shown it has a social conscience by opening up breakfast clubs in schools to ensure children do not go hungry.
It is a recipe for success. Greggs has revealed its sales jumped by nearly a quarter last year and it is eyeing up big expansion plans, as it said the cost of living squeeze has led more consumers to rely on low-cost meals.
The bakery chain reported total sales of £1.5 billion over 2022, a 23 per cent jump on the £1.2 billion reported the previous year.
Many other business could learn a lesson from it. It’s not about reinventing the wheel - it’s about being relevant, affordable and accessible. People want decent customer service and to know what they’re getting. They want consistency and reliability at a price that they can afford.
Greggs provides all of that and more. It offers a sense of familiarity and security in an uncertain world. It’s little wonder that is has swept all before it and continues to grow. Doing the basics well drives success.
Many will always find long-form reading a chore. And we are unfortunately creating a new internet-savvy generation who only deal in small snippets of information at a time. Attention spans are being reduced as technology replaces our ability to concentrate.
Action must be taken to make reading more relevant and interesting to all students. We should never let go the likes of Shakespeare and Dickens, but we must also spark an interest in reading with material that young people can genuinely engage in.
The world of literature and art ought to be one in which we can take our time and delight in the brilliance of the remarkable minds that have gone before - or that create new works of literature for the modern idiom.
We must find ways to make their great works relevant so that youngsters do not miss out on life-changing, life-affirming works of true brilliance.