Newcastle-headquartered bakery Gregg’s is considering opening its first concept store in the north-east, as part of an expansion development in its home area that would see the creation of 100 new jobs.
In making the announcement, executive employment consultancy of distinction UK Knack Group’s managing director said, “This really is marvellous news for the Newcastle area, because we have an economy wrestling its way rapidly out of recession, and job prospects are our top priority.
“Gregg’s saw its best Christmas week figures on record last month, and the company’s capitalising on that success with re-investment in the communities that supported it.”
Coffee and hot drinks now account for almost 5 per cent of Gregg’s sales, and they were a strong component of the record pre-Christmas sales as shoppers took advantage of the improved weather.
Chief executive Ken McMeikan said he had acquired 68 stores last year, bringing the chain’s total to 1487, and that he’s planning to open another 80 in the next 12 months. He thought that 10 of those should be in the north-east.
He said, “We’ll have new shops in the north-east, certainly, and each shop normally averages say 10 or a dozen staff, so conservatively that should mean at least 100 new jobs up there.”
McMeikan said he had been very pleased with the performance of the London concept shops, which are up-market venues with soft lighting, wood panelling and more space. He confirmed that Newcastle should be in line for one.
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