PizzaExpress to close Za spin-off site

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

PizzaExpress to close Za spin-off site

Related tags: Casual dining

PizzaExpress is to close its spin-off concept Za on 20 December after nine months of trading.

Za opened on London’s Fenchurch Street in March,​ offering pizza by-the-slice as well as sandwiches, salads and desserts.

PIzzaExpress says it remains ‘committed’ to the format, which it will relaunch in a site ‘more suited to Za’ in 2020.

The Fenchurch Street location, which the group says was running Za on a ‘test and learn’ basis, will be converted back to the main brand.

Zoe Bowley, PizzaExpress managing director UK and Ireland, says: “Our new brand, Za, was launched earlier this year, following robust research which highlighted customer appetite for fast, fresh pizza by the slice. As part of our test and learn strategy, we’re pleased it has proven our initial test of concept."

The Fenchurch Street site will relaunch under the chain’s ‘Future Express’ redesign programme,​ which has rolled out to 25 sites this year.

"The success of these initial sites is helping shape our thinking as we plan for 2020," says Bowley.

Speculation has been growing around the future of PizzaExpress after it revealed debts of £1.1bn in its annual report in April.

The company was forced to issue a statement in October stating 95% of its restaurants​ in the UK and Ireland are profitable after it was suggested two in every five were at risk of closure.

Related topics: Venues

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