Most consumer businesses are having a torrid time at the moment, but not Domino’s: the pizza delivery business seems to be going from strength to strength as cash-strapped punters increasingly opt to stay in for their occasional meal treats. Domino’s, which has now 553 stores in the UK and Ireland, said today that sales were up by 18.4% in the year to December 28, including an 8.6% jump in the last quarter. With low-end high-street favourite Greggs also reporting a big jump in like-for-like sales this morning, it’s easy to see what’s happening to British eating habits...
Domino’s boss Chris Moore says the chain is proving increasingly popular with credit-crunched Britons, who are choosing to steer clear of restaurants when they can’t be bothered cooking and ordering a Domino’s Mighty Meaty instead. And best of all, these new punters are apparently spending more per transaction than the old ones, because it’s still cheaper than going out – which means higher profits for Domino’s. Everyone’s a winner (well, apart from local restaurants). ‘We are fortunate in that the business is one which does thrive when people are at home,’ grinned Moore today.
However, Domino’s is refusing to rest on its laurels – it wants to double its number of franchised outlets to 1,000 in the next few years, so it’s working on new ways to make ordering-in easier. Last year online orders were up by 74%, and you can even order by text message now. It’s also pumping money into targeted advertising – apparently it had great success this year with its sponsorship of TV show 'Britain’s Got Talent' (though try not to hold that against it).
Another star performer of recent weeks has been Greggs, the cheap-and-cheerful high street baker. Schoolkids’ fave Greggs has been flogging piles of pasties and stacks of sausage rolls in the four weeks to January 3, with sales up by an impressive 5.3% (apparently it sold a whopping 4m mince pies in the run-up to Christmas, including an extraordinary 1m in the three days before Christmas Day). A performance like this, in an environment like this, was ‘testament to the great taste and value of our products,’ beamed proud CEO Ken Meikin today.
Like Dominos, Greggs is now planning aggressive expansion over the coming year – with more and more high street sites likely to become available as retailers go bust, it should be able to pick up some nice cheap store leases. And as we Brits increasingly opt for the ‘credit crunch lunch’ (rather than spending a fiver on sundried-tomato focaccias), it shouldn’t be short of custom...
In today's bulletin:
M&S cuts jobs and stores after sales slump
Domino's and Greggs line up higher profits
Videogames going to the next level
Power of prayer is not redundant
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