Page 2: Expanding from a single outlet
Many of the UK's best known business names e.g. Marks and Spencer, Virgin, Rolls-Royce began as small units owned originally by no more than a couple of enterprising people, and in some cases by only one person. These entrepreneurs were successful in identifying and meeting customer needs. Because of this, they were able to grow organically by putting back profits into internal growth. Many successful businesses also grow by buying up related businesses, including some of their direct competitors.
Today, Greggs plc is the UK's leading bakery retailer, specialising in sandwiches and savouries, with a particular focus on takeaway food and catering. John Gregg founded Greggs in Newcastle upon Tyne in the 1930s. Since 1964 the business has expanded from one shop with a small bakery at the rear into a major retailer with two brands; Greggs & Bakers Oven, with over 1,150 shops, 13 factories located across the UK, an annual turnover of over £400m and 17,000 employees. Greggs plc has always been a customer focused business seeking to provide excellent products and services that offer customers enjoyment and value for money.
The business has grown in two main ways. It has acquired other companies which now operate under the Greggs' brand. It has also invested heavily, spending around £8m on building two new bakeries in Birmingham and North London, each able to service 100 shops. In 1984, Greggs became a public company. This move helped to fund its continuing growth. In 1994, Greggs plc acquired the Bakers Oven business, and this operates as a premium brand within the Group.
In 1997 Greggs plc opened a new £10m Central Savouries production plant in Newcastle upon Tyne. It is one of the most modern of its kind in Europe. To complement this manufacturing plant, in April 2000 Greggs plc opened a new £2m Group Technical Centre. This is dedicated to meeting customer requirements by leading the research and product development that help provide customers with superior products that combine taste, satisfaction and value for money.