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Greggs launches mobile payment app as it reports a fall in sales

Greggs has launched a mobile payment and loyalty app with the aim of growing in the food-to-go market after reporting a drop in sales for the 2013 financial year.

“Greggs Rewards”, which the company claims is the first entirely digital loyalty app launched by a fast-food retailer, will allow customers to collect rewards when they use the app to pay for food across its 1,700 outlets.

Supported by PayPal, the app, which was developed using Eagle Eye technology and in partnership with integrated agency Steel, eliminates the need for customers to carry a separate loyalty card or their wallet when they shop.

Rob Harper, head of retail services at PayPal UK, said: “This exciting collaboration with Greggs is another step on the journey towards a wallet-less high street, where customers will be able to leave their wallet or purse at home and pay using their smartphone or tablet.

“We predict that by 2016 you won’t need your wallet to pay on the UK high street – your smartphone will be enough – this is a great example of what we mean.”

The announcement came as Greggs revealed a like-for-like sales dip of 0.8 per cent for the 52 weeks ending 28 December 2013. It also said pre-tax profits were down 18.9 per cent to £41.3m.

Roger Whiteside, CEO at Greggs, said in the report: “Our strategic review confirmed that the food-on-the-go market is still growing and attracting expansion by our competitors, particularly convenience supermarkets, coffee shops and fast food operators.

“Whilst Greggs has defended its position as the leading retail bakery business it has underperformed in the food-on-the-go market as new entrants and existing competitors have rapidly expanded shop numbers and better met customer demands.”

He added: “Greggs appeals to a broad customer base and, with signs of easing pressure on consumer disposable incomes appearing towards the end of the year, this should support continued growth in the market for food-on-the-go”.

The “Greggs Rewards” app will also feature personalised offers and birthday treats and allow customers to store up to £50 on their account.