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Greggs warns of job cuts amid financial uncertainty

Greggs has warned of possible job cuts amid ongoing uncertainty in its third quarter results, despite noting that activity levels have increased as it came into September.

While in September like-for-like sales improved to 76.1% of 2019 levels in the four weeks to 26 September 2020, business activity levels still “remain below normal for the foreseeable future”. 

In light of this, the group is now “proposing a series of changes” which are the subject of a collective consultation with union and employee representatives. It aims is to minimise the risk of job losses by negotiating reduced hours across its shops. 

In its latest update, the group said that since reopening fully on 2 July, like-for-like sales in company-managed shops have averaged 71.2% of the 2019 level in the 12 weeks to 26 September.

The September recovery follows what the business described as a “challenging August”. 

Greggs said: “Our immediate priority is to complete the consultation with colleagues on the proposed changes to resource levels. We will do this with regard to our values and the best long-term interests of the business as a whole. 

“We will update on the expected financial impact of these changes when the consultation ends in November.” 

It added: “The outlook for trading remains uncertain, with rising COVID-19 infection rates leading to increasing risks of supply chain interruption and further restrictions on customer activities out of the home. 

“In these challenging conditions our teams continue to work hard and have proven our ability to operate with social distancing and adapt to new digital channels.”

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