GREGGS has confirmed it permanently closed 56 stores last year as it reports its first loss in 36 years due to the Covid.
The store closures were already planned, and were offset by 84 new branch openings in 2020.
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However, the bakery chain today announced a pre-tax loss of £13.7million in 2020, compared with a £108.3million profit a year earlier.
Meanwhile, sales dropped from £1.17billion to £811.3million as stores closed their doors for large swathes of the year due to the pandemic.
Greggs had never previously reported a loss since becoming a public company on the London Stock Exchange in 1984.
A spokesperson told The Sun store closures happen every year as they're part of Greggs' ongoing estate maintenance.
High street closures in 2020
HERE’S a round-up of some of the big names on the high street that went under last year:
- Philip Green's retail empire Arcadia collapsed in November, putting 13,000 jobs and 444 stores at risk
- Department store chain Beales went into administration in January with 23 shops and 1,052 jobs at risk
- High end fashion brand Ted Baker said it plans to axe 160 jobs in February
- Brighthouse and Carluccio’s went into administration at the end of March
- Mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse said in March that it'll close all 531 standalone stores in April
- Debenhams entered administration for the second time in 12 months in April, but its name and website was bought by Boohoo in January, 2021
- Struggling shoe shop Office put itself up for sale in April 2020
- Oasis and Warehouse closed down in April 2020 with the loss of 1,800 jobs
- Cath Kidston closed all 60 shops in April 2020 with the loss of 900 jobs
- Clarks said in May 2020 that it would cut 900 roles
- Shoe chain Aldo collapsed into administration in June 2020 with five stores permanently closed
- Victoria's Secrets plunged into administration in June 2020, putting 800 jobs at risk
- Fashion chain Quiz put its shop business into administration in June 2020, putting 82 stores at risk
It added that it aims to open around 100 net new shops each year.
It couldn't confirm how many workers lost their jobs due to the closures, but said it always aims to relocate as many as possible.
The Sun has asked Greggs for a list of the stores that opened and closed last year, and we'll update this article once we hear back.
Greggs has been forced to shut for dine-in during lockdowns in the past year, but its stores remain open for takeaway and delivery services.
However, city centre locations and travel hub sites have seen substantial falls due to the stay-at-home government orders.
The latest restrictions since the start of the year have hit overall sales, with like-for-like sales down 28.8% in the 10 weeks to March 13.
Delivery services and Just Eat sales helped offset some of the falls, with 9.6% of total sales in the first ten weeks of 2021 now coming via deliveries.
The bakery chain added its results for 2020 were slightly better than expected, considering last year's government restrictions.
Greggs has more than 2,000 branches across the UK. You can find your nearest one by using its store locator tool.
Following the first lockdown last year, all Greggs stores closed on March 23, even though it was allowed to stay open for takeaway orders.
After a later trial reopening, around 800 of Greggs’ branches then reopened for business by mid June.
Last month, a Greggs fan shared how she got £11.45 worth of treats for just £2.59 with a food waste app.
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