Greggs is in the process of selecting 700 stores to re-open in June.
The popular UK bakery chain has shared an update to staff about its plans to get shops open again during the current coronavirus pandemic.
All Greggs stores closed on March 23, the day the country went into lockdown.
In an update to staff CEO Roger Whiteside said that after a successful loan application to the Bank of England, the company can now plan for how to reopen the business with “new measures in place that keep our colleagues and customers as safe as we can.”
He said stores will re-open in phases and staff must understand that they will not be able to operate normally and stores “must-have new social distancing and hygiene measures in place to continue to provide protection” for staff and customers.
To start with, 20 Greggs shops in the Newcastle area are set to re-open.
Mr Whiteside said: “This small trial will aim to start on May 4 with a limited product range and shorter trading hours. We believe that we will require at least two weeks to evaluate this trial and the plan is that the shops will stay open thereafter.”
If the Newcastle trial is successful, Greggs plans to open more stores.
Mr Whiteside added: “We are currently in the process of selecting about 700 shops to reopen, including approximately 150 franchise shops, as the first large group of shops to re-open with our new tested operational measures in place.
“We expect it will only be possible to open this many shops if the government has taken a first step in relaxing the lockdown which could be to open the schools. This, in turn, would allow an increased number of people to return to work.”
The stores being reconsidered have not been revealed yet.
Greggs is hoping to re-open those stores on June 8 but says the timing may change depending on future government announcements.
In the update, Mr Whiteside said he hoped all shops could re-open with new operational measures in place by July 1, which is when government furlough support is currently scheduled to end.
By Katrina Chilver
Source: Hertfordshire Mercury