Pret A Manger to close 30 stores

Marco Green
July 7, 2020

Pret a Manger Ltd. said it will cut at least 1,000 jobs as it permanently closes 30 United Kingdom stores and restructures its business amid the pandemic.

The latest Stratford-upon-Avon hospitality outlet to fall victim to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is Pret A Manger.

Pret said that it faced "significant operating losses", noting that footfall and sales remained below typical levels across the UK. Sales from these channels have grown 480% year on year and represent more than 8% of total United Kingdom sales.

Bosses said the 300 sandwich and coffee shops it had reopened in the United Kingdom have not recovered as fast as in other countries.

No final decisions on job losses will be made until consultations with employees have been completed, Pret said.

When the coronavirus crisis hit, we said that our priority was to protect our people, our customers, and of course Pret. "We confirmed it was our intention to do everything we could to save jobs". "That is why we have adapted our business and found new ways to reach our customers".

The chain's upmarket sandwich offerings have seen it become a global chain with hundreds of outlets, primarily servicing office workers looking for healthy and low-cost lunch options. Pret said 339 of its 410 shops have so far reopened following the easing of lockdown restrictions. Citing its current dependence on office workers, it said it would focus on "bringing Pret to more people, through different channels and in new ways". And despite London slowly reopening and Pret branches springing back to life, the many office staff and commuters that provided guaranteed custom for the outlets are not back to "normal" just yet.

As well as closing 30 shops before the end of the year, the number of workers in Pret's other shops will be reduced, support teams will be restructured and a sale process will be started for the lease of its main support office in London Victoria.

Discussions are also ongoing with landlords across its estate to develop a more "sustainable" model, after external advisers were hired.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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