Cooke & Arkwright aids Greggs in ambitious growth strategy

10 January 2019

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Cooke & Arkwright helped Greggs bolster its presence in Wales during 2018 by sourcing and securing nine new units, collectively creating over a 100 new jobs. All stores underwent a new shopfit involving in total, in excess of £1.8 million of capital expenditure. In addition to these new sites, Cooke & Arkwright currently have terms agreed for the acquisition of 15 other new Greggs outlets in various locations across Wales, all set to open during 2019 and 2020.

During 2018, the bakery giant opened nine new premises in Wales and the Marches which include Belmont Road in Hereford, New Road in Neath Abbey, the former Little Chef in Newtown, a store on Stephens Way in Carmarthen, a prominent roadside unit on the A470 in Builth Wells, a unit in Cardiff city centre within the new BBC building in the landmark Central Square development, and three new units in the Newport area, being on Cardiff Rd, Caerleon Rd, and to the east of the city on the Langland Park West industrial estate.

As part of its ongoing work with Greggs, which has spanned over 25 years, Cooke & Arkwright’s responsibilities have included identifying and sourcing new locations and agreeing new lease terms, assisting with the business rates on the portfolio and renewing expired leases.

With over 150 outlets in Wales, Greggs is focusing its continuing growth strategy on opening stores between 800-1,500 sq ft in areas which include shopping centres, business parks, out-of-town retail parks, industrial estates, transport hubs and prominent roadside locations.

In 2018, Greggs announced that its half-year revenues and pre-tax profits had increased, with the bakery turning over £476.3m, up from £452.9m in the first half of 2017. Reported pre-tax profit, which includes property profits and exceptional charges, was £24.1m, up from £19.4m.

Huw Thomas, Director at Cooke & Arkwright, said: “Greggs has been a long-standing client of ours and we have supported them in opening their outlets in Wales.

“Over the last five years or so, Greggs has expanded its growth strategy to, as well as concentrating on its core locations on high streets and shopping centres, include non-high street locations such as retail and business parks, industrial estates, roadside locations, transport hubs etc.  This forms part of the Greggs growth strategy moving forwards.

“With a number of new units having already exchanged, or in the pipeline with terms agreed, Wales has and continues to be a particular focus as one of Greggs’ strongest performing regions.”

Chris Adamson, Regional Operations Manager at Greggs, said: “These latest store openings signify our commitment to Wales, a key region which is paving the way for our future growth strategy. In recent years, we have worked hard to expand our food offering to ensure we provide a balanced choice range for our customers as well as introducing seating in our stores to enhance the Greggs experience. Our ultimate aim is to become the customer’s preferred choice for food on-the-go.

“Cooke & Arkwright has been instrumental in helping us to achieve our ambitious growth strategy in Wales. Their knowledge and experience of the Welsh marketplace is unrivalled, and we look forward to continuing to work with them to open our new stores in the future.”

Pictured: Huw Thomas of Cooke & Arkwright, right, with Chris Adamson, Retail Operations Manager of Greggs, at the newly opened store in Pensarn, Carmarthen

Cooke & Arkwright have been providing rating valuation advice to The Welsh Rugby Union Limited (“WRU”) and Millennium Stadium plc for many years. They were recently successful in achieving substantial reductions in the assessments of the Millennium Stadium, covering both the 2005 and 2010 rating list. These negotiated reductions yielded savings of c.£3.5m which, crucially, allows the WRU to re-invest in rugby throughout Wales. They advise the WRU across the group portfolio including the National Centre of Excellence in the Vale of Glamorgan. The valuation issues across the WRU portfolio are complex requiring a high level of understanding of the funding and finances of professional sport in Wales. Cooke & Arkwright’s experience and understanding of these issues and application to the rating valuation have yielded these substantial negotiated reductions. The WRU and the Millennium Stadium entrust our work to organisations with the required levels in experience and expertise in dealing with these complex issues. I am glad to say we have this expertise in Wales. I would have no hesitation in recommending ratepayers making use of this Welsh based expertise.

Steve Phillips, Group Finance Director, Welsh Rugby Union Group