Greggs the baker will have card payment facilities in all of its stores across the UK within a matter of weeks, Retail Gazette understands.
The roll-out of debit and credit card payment options has taken place over the last 15 weeks and is now nearing completion, as the business focuses on increasing its market presence in the year ahead.
Customers wishing to use plastic to buy food and drink from Greggs will have to spend a minimum of £3, but the retailer’s management, along with industry analysts, believe the convenience this will provide will be beneficial to the firm.
Raymond Reynolds, Retail Director at Greggs, told Retail Gazette: “We are in the final phase of rolling out card payment facilities in all our shops and this will give our customers the option to pay by card or by cash depending on which suits their needs.”
Investment banking group Shore Capital strongly advocates buying shares in Greggs, noting that the five-year transformation plan to expand its store portfolio and increase sales, which began 18 months ago, is well on course.
Clive Black, Retail Analyst at Shore Capital, said that the roll-out of card payment facilities is a positive move and indicated that putting a minimum card purchase price of £3 - around 25 per cent more than the company’s average transaction size - will help boost sales.
“Card payment will increase Greggs’ basket size and simply allow more folk access to its goods when they have no cash on them, so long as they spend £3,” he explained.
“Greggs is going through substantial changes, starting with centralised decision-making. That had to happen before a roll-out of new payment capabilities could be encountered; so this is a sign of progress in more ways than one.”
He also suggested that contactless card payment facilities are likely to be installed in Greggs outlets in due course, although these systems are currently in the development stages.
The baker has plans to open a net 80 stores this financial year under the ambitious leadership of CEO Ken McMeikan, and a number of new initiatives and partnerships are set to be introduced over that time period.
Earlier this week the company began a trial with frozen food specialist Iceland which will see Greggs-branded ready-to-bake sausage rolls sold in the supermarket’s stores in the Liverpool area.
Sales will be closely monitored before Greggs determines the long-term, nationwide viability of its participation in the frozen ready-to-bake market.