GREGGS is to close all 2,050 UK branches from Tuesday evening due to the coronavirus outbreak. The high street bakery chain, which employs 25,000 staff, says that the temporary shut down is to protect customers and employees from contracting and spreading the virus. 1 Greggs stores will temporarily close all branches from the end of…
GREGGS is to close all 2,050 UK branches from Tuesday evening due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The high street bakery chain, which employs 25,000 staff, says that the temporary shut down is to protect customers and employees from contracting and spreading the virus.
Just after the Greggs announcement, KFC revealed it will close all its branches by Wednesday.
Greggs had already stopped customers from going into stores, offering take away service instead, following the government ordered all pubs, restaurants and cafes to close on Friday night.
Staff will continued to get paid for full contracted hours “for as long as is practicable” with the support from the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme.
This will see up to 80 per cent of wages paid by the government via a grant to employers.
The high street favourite has also promised to donate any remaining unsold food to local communities, and will be offering support for those in hardship through the Greggs Foundation.
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HERE is the list of all the retailers that are closing their doors thanks to coronavirus
It said that a drop in sales has also lead to the closure of stores having seen a 9.9 per cent decline over the past week, since social distancing rules were introduced.
But it added that while customers at branches in transport hubs, central London and other city centres were steering clear of the stores, those in suburban areas saw “the lowest levels of decline”.
The bakery chain is making plans for the closures to last between six weeks and three months, estimates that it will cost the firm £45million in cash outgoings by the end of the year.
It has also decided not to pay investors the final dividend for 2019 due on May 21 2020, and employees won’t be able to purchase shares through the company’s internal benefit scheme while the temporary measures are in place either.
Greggs hopes that both moves will save the company £40million in cash spending.
The company has reassured customers and investors by revealing that it still has £60million cash in the bank, even after making all usual payments to staff, suppliers and landlords for March.
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As a result of the closures, it will be deferring any new shop openings and planned refurbishments until the true impact the coronavirus outbreak has on the business.
To avoid going buts, Greggs has also asked landlords to accept monthly rental payments rather than quarterly payments to help it stay afloat.
Chief executive Roger Whiteside said that the government’s decision to suspend business rates for a year and its job retention scheme will be “essential for any consumer-facing business at this time.”
He added: “Whilst the outlook during this crisis remains uncertain Greggs is a resilient business with strong growth credentials and we should be confident of its ability to navigate this event and return to growth when the economy recovers.”
Yesterday, McDonald’s announced that it would be closing down all its UK restaurants from 7pm tonight.
Nando’s, Costa and Next followed suit today, announcing that they would also temporarily shut up shop.
Here’s a list of all retailers that will be temporarily closing during the coronavirus outbreak.
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