Greggs finally reopens some shops after postponing first attempt to get back in business
- Greggs has reopened and undisclosed number of stores in the Tyneside area
- Bakery chain is trialling a number of safety measures for staff and customers
- Plans to reopen 20 stores on Monday was scrapped over fears of overcrowding
- All 2,050 shops were closed in April despite being allowed to stay open for takeaway orders
Greggs has finally reopened a small number of stores as it continues to trial safety measures after scraping its original reopening plan earlier in the week.
The Newcastle-based baker is selling its popular products, including coffee, pasties and cakes, at an undisclosed number of shops in the Tyneside area.
The gradual reopening process has followed a series of trials with staff testing working practices while remaining shut to customers.
The chain temporarily closed all of its 2,050 stores in April as lockdown restrictions came into force, even though it was allowed to stay open in part for takeaway orders.
The Newcastle-based baker is selling its popular products, including coffee, pasties and cakes, at an undisclosed number of shops in the Tyneside area
A Greggs spokesman said: ‘We are initially operating shop trials behind closed doors in order to test the effectiveness of our new operational safety measures.
‘We will continue to review this and will invite walk-in customers into our shops only when we can do so in the controlled manner we intended.’
Chief executive Roger Whiteside issued a statement on the firm’s website, stressing the trials were in line with the Government’s Covid-19 guidelines.
He said: ‘These trials are being conducted across a number of channels, including delivery through Just Eat, Click + Collect and walk-in customers.
‘Colleague and customer safety continue to be the primary focus of the decisions we take as we start to reopen our shops.
‘Thank you for your patience while we work hard to play our part in getting the nation back up and running again and serving the communities in which we operate.’
At one of the shops in Kingston Park shopping centre in Newcastle, shoppers were said to be queuing out the door to get their hands on pasties and coffee.
It comes after Greggs previously shelved plans to reopen 20 stores due to fears of overcrowding.
The chain temporarily closed all 2,050 of its shops a month ago due to the coronavirus crisis, even though it was allowed to stay open for takeaway orders.
After customers revealed their delight with the bakery’s potential reopening, Greggs told The Sun that it had feared an ‘excessive numbers of customers may plan to visit Greggs’.