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Greggs Ltd
Type Public (LSE: GRG)
Founded 1939
Headquarters Newcastle upon Tyne, England, UK
Key people Derek Netherton (Chairman), Ken McMeikan (CEO)
Industry Food (Bakery Group)
Products Sandwiches, pies and pastries; baked goods
Revenue GB£628 million (2008)
Operating income GB£48.6 million (2008)
Net income GB£49.5 million (2008)
Employees 19,000 (from 2008)
Greggs in Carmarthen during snowfall
A Greggs store in Waterlooville
The historic store front of a Greggs in Brecon

Greggs Ltd (LSE: GRG) is the largest specialist retail bakery chain in the United Kingdom. It is based in Newcastle upon Tyne and is listed on the London Stock Exchange where it is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.



Greggs was founded by John Gregg as a Tyneside bakery in 1939.[1] It opened its first shop in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne in 1951.[2]

Major expansion began soon after it was taken over by his son, Ian, on John's death in 1964: this included the acquisitions of other bakeries such as Glasgow based Rutherglen in 1972, Leeds based Thurstons in 1974 and Manchester based Price's in 1976.[3]

In 1994 the Company acquired the Bakers Oven chain of bakers' shops from Allied Bakeries.[3]

In 1999 Greggs rebranded its 100 Braggs bakers shops as Greggs of the Midlands and its Leeds-based Thurston chain as Greggs of Yorkshire.[4]

In 2003 in an attempt to test the foreign market, Greggs opened four stores in Belgium; principally in Antwerp and Leuven.[4]

On 9 December 2008, Greggs announced that all of its 165 Bakers Oven branded shops would be re-branded into the Greggs brand, therefore the shops would benefit from the national advertising campaign in the hope to boost sales.[5]


The company has grown steadily over the years and now has in excess of 1400 outlets, with many town and city centres have multiple numbers of stores. In 2009, Greggs announced plans for another 600 stores.[6] It has a divisional structure with central bakeries around the country supplying the shops in their surrounding areas.

As well as selling British freshly baked savouries such as sausage rolls and Cornish pasties, local items are also available. Traditional Tyneside and, more generally, North East foods are usually available, for example pease pudding and Stotties. The available products are frequently updated and change according to the time of year. For example at Hallowe'en various themed products are available.

In October 2007, Greggs pioneered a late night store in the entertainment quarter of Birmingham. This branch is the first of its kind putting it in direct competition with more traditional late-night eateries. A store in Sheffield (Division Street) and Leeds (Albion Street) both open late from Wednesdays to Saturdays.


Greggs now uses the advertising slogan 'Ready when you are' replacing previous slogans such as 'Got To Get To Greggs'. The current face of Greggs is British Comedian Patrick McGuinness.

Actress and model Milla Jovovich, a fan of the store and its pasties,[7] said in 2002 that she would be willing to become the "face of Greggs" in a new marketing campaign if the firm approached her, though no such approach was made.[8] Jovovich's spouse Paul W S Anderson shares his Gosforth roots with Greggs and introduced Jovovich to the brand.[9]


Greggs core product and market is based around traditional comfort foods, for example selling 2 million chicken bakes per week. In a 2008 investigation of all UK High Street fast food retailers by Channel 4, Greggs was found to be the retailer with the highest levels of fat in its product range.[6]


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