Many of you will be aware of my continued evangelist role for Next but there is a growing competitor for my corporate love and that is the home of the vegan sausage roll (and slice), Greggs.
With its 4th!! Profit upgrade of the year the business is performing exceptionally well with product innovations driving a significant uptick in penetration and combined with a broadening of physical availability, the business is currently reaping the rewards of its strategy which is underpinned by a simple ambition “to create a business able to fulfil 2000 outlets). Their annual report isn’t out for a little while but by announcing they are to pay out a £7m bonus pot to staff they’ve signalled their rude health.
Hankins hot take – As a QSR (quick service restaurant) up against the might of McDonalds, the mid-market coffee and food shops and the supermarkets Greggs are in a hyper competitive sector but have succeeded through a focussed pursuit of a clear strategy. At the heart of this success is an interesting “quirk” of an ambition. I’ll explain. Many companies will say they want to grow to a certain size or number of outlets, the difference with Greggs is that their ambition was to build the capability to fulfil first. It sounds simple enough but in the graveyard of modern retailing its not hard to find businesses that have grown too big too quick. The impact of Amazon on changing consumer expectations is all about quick, easy fulfilment being a pre-requisite of modern retailing. Greggs have executed this is spades. They are likely to reach their target of 2000 outlets in the next year or so, the next challenge will be on finding additional environments to target (they are rolling out in petrol stations and services stations as we speak), maybe we’ll see stations and airports becoming part of the mix soon!?!
Greggs are one of the most successful modern businesses out there are the moment. I’ve compiled a simple list of the 5 requirements of a successful high street chain / retailer taking evidence from a variety of players and will look to get some time in to present to the various teams soon. If you or your clients are interested in hearing more then please give me a shout.