Greggs, the high street sandwich chain, has appointed Raymond Reynolds to the newly created position of retail director, as it looks to increase its development as a national brand. Reynolds, who joined the company in 1986, has joined the company’s board as an executive director and is tasked with driving the development of a stronger, more unified and customers-focused Greggs brand throughout the UK. The company said that in line with Reynolds’ appointment it would continue to expand and develop its healthier options range, and undertake a number of trials of trading hours and formats, which have been under development in recent months. The appointment of Reynolds will see a change in the company’s divisional management structure, with all of the group’s managing directors across its eight divisions in the UK reporting to him. In a trading update, the company said its like-for-like sales had increased by 2.0% in the six weeks to 9 December, compared with the 0.2% increase it reported for the 19 weeks to 28 October. The group said that while it was pleased by the emergence of this more positive sales trend, it had come later than it had hoped. It said the delay would have a marginal effect on its outturn for the year. The company said that the rationalisation and integration of its Bakers Oven format in the North and Scotland was progressing on schedule. It reported that total closure costs will exceed its initial estimates of £2.5m by £1.25m, with the increase being largely property-related. The group, which operates a total of 1,334 outlets to date, also announced it had exchanged contracts for the sale of its Carricks bakery site in Newcastle, with a property profit of £2m from this deal expected to be shown in the company’s 2007 accounts. Sir Michael Darrington, group managing director, said: “By focusing on the development and marketing of a unified national brand, we aim to make the whole Greggs business more responsive, increasing our ability to meet new competitive challenges by delivering to our customers exactly what they want, when they want it.”