If I think of the UK retailer high street woes from 2018 and the broad nature of how many were affected by this, this comes as no real surprise to me. The main catalyst for this is an ever-changing consumer who displays a number of common attributes, namely: a preference to internet shop, an increase in price savviness and an embracing of the physical ease of ordering online. In addition, high street retailers face added pressure from increased rent & rates as well as competition from out of town shopping centres.
So it was with relative shock that the chief brand bucking this ever negative trend was my favourite sausage roller maker: Greggs. In the last 2 months alone, the company has upped profit guidance, this morning’s positive results have stretched shares to an all-time high of 1459p. Looking at the trajectory of the shares since inception in 1991, it’s trend is more akin to a start-up tech company. Over this period, shares are up an astounding 3187%. But how did they get it so right?
If we look most recently, the PR and marketing machine has shown itself to be extremely nimble & smart. Not only changing items on the menu due to customer demand with extreme speed, but also on trend marketing with the most recent a “vegan sausage roll” with an iPhone type video explainer.
In addition, Piers Morgan slating of the product on national day time TV forces the cynic in me to question whether Piers could actually be part of the smart marketing? The faux disgust he shows may just be a part of the operation to drive more users to view the video in a form of viral marketing leading to an increase in demand for the product in store.
Going forward, this kind of hype for a new item on a menu is difficult to repeat however, the company has shown how successful they are at this as they have with share price performance.
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