Those of you residing in the UK probably already know what we will be covering here, but for those of you who are confused, Gregg’s plc is a very famous bakery line in the UK. People all over the nation seem to love it. In this Greggs plc SWOT analysis, let’s see how the business actually is performing since we already covered Greggs PESTLE analysis.
There are probably thousands upon thousands of different bakeries in the UK, so what makes Greggs so popular? That is precisely what we will discover in the following article.
Greggs was started all the way back in 1939 in Newcastle by John Gregg. From this small bakery that was famous for selling yummy sausage rolls, it became one of the biggest bakery chains in the nation. After Gregg passed away, the business got transferred to his son and brother. Ian Durant serves currently as the chairman and Roger Whiteside is the CEO.
They can be found everywhere from Manchester to Leeds to Kent to Scotland. As of 2019, they had more than 2000 stores in different locations all across the UK. Unfortunately, Covid-19 hit them very badly, so many stores were also shut down.
Even those of you belonging to the UK or those who know what Greggs is, you probably don’t really know where the business currently stands in terms of a macro perspective. Is it successful or barely? This is where the SWOT comes into play.
Most of you probably have an idea of what SWOT is. It is basically an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. These are the four broad factors that can greatly influence an entity such as a business organization. But is that it?
Before we move on ahead to the actual analysis, it is important you understand the nature of these four factors. See, strengths and weaknesses are called internal factors whereas opportunities and threats are called external factors.
Internal factors are called so because they can be controlled and shaped by the organization under consideration and on the contrary, external factors are out of all sorts of influence of the organization. This might sound a bit confusing, but it can easily be explained with the help of an example.
If the food at Greggs tastes amazing, it is a strength for the business because they can directly control what ingredients and recipes are being used to cook it; this is an internal factor. On the other hand, Covid-19 emerging unprecedentedly causing the business to halt is a threat; the organization could not stop it so this would be an external factor.
Now that we have all of that understood, let’s see what the SWOT analysis for Greggs plc looks like.
What are some of Greggs biggest strengths?
The name Greggs did not become so popular by a fluke. Had it been pure luck, the people would have long forgotten what the brand was back in the 1900s. They made it this far owing to the following strengths.
Greggs has managed to stay relevant over many decades at this point. Naturally, the brand name started gaining a lot of positive traction which helped shape its destiny.
However, it has stayed this way because they have transformed their brand image over the years. Instead of positioning themselves as any common bakery, they now want consumers to view them as a top “on-the-go” food choice. When people think of convenient food options, they think of Greggs.
The focus has shifted from sausage rolls to coffee options, sandwiches, and salads; healthier variants of food.
This bakery can be found all across the UK. This is ultimately a very big thing for the company because anywhere people go they will find a local Greggs bakery.
Other than availability, this helps the brand in scaling their business which reduces their costs and also sells more products.
Extensive Training Program
The people who are chosen to enter the workforce of the company have to undergo a 12-month training program which teaches them what and how to do, the standards of cleanliness and hygiene, and the kind of conduct needed to deal with customers.
Elaborate CSR Activities
As far as corporate social responsibility goes, this bakery line does it the best. The company is very conscious of giving back to the society they operate in.
Although they are definitely not the first ones to launch vegan alternatives to common food items, the sausage roll that was their most coveted item missed out on a huge market.
Adding the vegan option got them really positive WOM and a surging customer base to try it. They also respond to online trolls and naysayers in a very humorous manner which grants them all the popularity they need.
They once had a spat with Piers Morgan over the same vegan rolls, they did not disappoint with their response.
They have a vast network of activities centered on water consumption, going green, reducing their carbon footprint, conserving energy, and much more. They also invest a lot in many different charities and other human welfare activities.
What are Greggs biggest weaknesses?
No matter how successful a business venture is, there are always downsides to all the positives. Even a business as successful as Greggs needs to be cautious of its weaknesses. Because these weaknesses have the potential to overshadow the strengths. Here are some of the biggest ones.
Training is Expensive
Whereas their training program is a strength, on one hand, on the other, it is extremely arduous and hence costly for the business. They have to spend a lot of resources into making sure the employees are ready. They ought to come up with a training program to solve this issue by making it more efficient.
Limited Food Choices
Although they have rebranded by including other food varieties, they are still not giving as much variety as other eateries to customers. They should include more food choices to attract and retain more consumers.
Other than serving baked goods and other food choices, they don’t have much going on in terms of business opportunities. It is always wise for companies to diversify their portfolios so that if one sector or industry is suffering, they can still have revenues generated from other streams.
As of 2021, they only exist within the premises of the UK. They should be thinking about expanding the business to international markets so as to grow the market share.
They are very successful, so why not reap more benefits over it?
What are some opportunities that Greggs can avail?
As long as there are opportunities in the market, there is hope. The success of a business greatly depends on finding the right opportunity and cashing on it before it is too late. Here are some things Greggs can explore.
The weakness can easily be converted into an opportunity to explore. Greggs plc should seriously consider foreign markets to invest in.
Introduce Wider Product Ranges
At the moment they have a very satisfied customer base. The people enjoy this bakery’s food. They should explore introducing a more diverse menu.
They can even look into offering a full fine dining experience. The opportunities for them to explore revolving around food and presentation are endless.
They can make use of elaborate information systems to streamline all the data between the 2000 stores they have. They can also make excellent use of a CRM (customer relationship management) system to make sure they know who the loyal customers are and who needs to be chased more.
Having a better technological setup will help the business compete with the latest trends in the market so as to stay ahead of the competition.
What are the biggest threats looming over Greggs?
Every business has several threats looming over. The only thing that can be done during a threat is to find ways out of it. Here are the threats facing Greggs.
Covid-19 has been a very hard threat for almost every business, but the food sector suffered a lot because of the constant interaction.
Many businesses including Greggs had to be closed down temporarily during the peak days of the virus to avoid getting people sick. Naturally when 2000 stores of a business close for an indefinite time period, huge losses are inevitable.
The business did salvage through as they are operating at the moment, but they have seen very tough times because of the pandemic.
As it is a bakery at its core, naturally the competition is very high because it is a very easy business to get into; no barriers to entry. Local competitors exist in every market they operate in.
Other than that, they consider McDonald’s and Starbucks to be important competitors. McDonald’s because of their fast food, as Greggs is also now branding them as providing quick food. Starbucks is a competitor because they serve coffee and similar food items to those found in a bakery.
Greggs plc SWOT Analysis: Final Thoughts
If you have read all the way till here, you now definitely are aware of the brand Greggs has built. You must be impressed.
A small bakery from the 1900s has transformed into a vast spread business. As is evident from this SWOT analysis, they have done quite well for themselves. The number of strengths outweighs the number of weaknesses.
Some of the weaknesses can directly be eliminated from the list if they cash on the opportunities identified. The threat of Covid-19 could not be anticipated so no fault of the business there. This is why it is important to have other options in a diversified portfolio.
Anyway, Greggs is doing very well in the UK market. They are not going extinct anytime soon. Major props to the brand!
A SWOT analysis is one of the easiest to understand, use and implement frameworks available for improving your organization. It can be applied to industries at large as well to understand them in more depth.
It highlights the strengths and weaknesses which occur on the inside and the threats and opportunities which linger outside. If you know these four components of the SWOT, you very easily can be on the road to improvement and growth. Knowing how to conduct a SWOT analysis is a very useful skill to have for working professionals as well as students to have.
If you wish to work on a SWOT of your own to increase your knowledge, we recommend the use of a good template. Moreover, you can understand how the analysis works by taking a look at a few extra examples. The easiest way to understand and explain a SWOT analysis visually is to draft it as a table. It is more concise, clean, and comprehendible like this.