Steak Bakes And Sweatshirts: The Unlikely Alliance Between Greggs And Primark
They say you can put lipstick on a pig, however, it will always be a pig. That might be true up to a point, but there’s always an exception waiting to prove the rule.
The news of Greggs opening its largest outlet in Primark’s Birmingham flagship certainly grabbed the headlines. And whilst at first it may appear to be something of an exercise in porcine vanity, look a little deeper and it suddenly becomes so much more than just a cosmetic operation.
Because in addition, and perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this collaboration, is that Greggs and and Primark have gone a whole lot further than just a steak bake. A limited-edition collection of 11 pieces will be available in 60 Primark stores across the UK.
So, as well as ordering our favourite sausage roll or beef pasty, now we’ll be able to advertise our budget bakery preferences for all to see.
There have of course been unusual alliances before in retail; think Dolce & Gabbana and Smeg, or Lego and Levi’s. Nothing new, so why all the fuss about this one on social media?
It might have something to do with the fact that these are two of our most recognisable and much-loved brands, both very astute when it comes to enticing their customers. And of course, it helps that both are very accessible.
I recently wrote about things only getting tougher for retail in 2022 and have wondered if the increasing cost of living is going to spawn new retail models.
We normally think of innovation in terms of technology innovation and it is true that tech will drive the majority of innovative thinking in retail for the foreseeable future.
However, this does not preclude other forms and as a result, we can expect more and more imaginative collaborations such as this.
Because when once the definition of retail was apparently clear, it is becoming more and more opaque. The lines are becoming increasingly blurred, and that’s not a bad thing. At all.
OK, so hairdressers are unlikely to ever become pureplay online businesses, but other than that, the rules are now there to be broken. New ways of working and operating are only just being thought of (metaverse I’m looking at you) and, most of all, you and I are more expectant than ever before.
We might be about to enter the most fiscally demanding period for decades, but that won’t prevent us from exercising our imaginations when it comes to doing what we most love; consuming.
The good news is that our prayers aren’t about to go unanswered. Because retail is nothing but innovative and resilient. And that is why we should expect to see more like this.
After all, if you can pair a pig with a pyjama, anything’s possible.