Pret set for slew of closures (updated)

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Pret A Manger 45 closures Coronavirus sales plummet Pano Christou

Related tags: Pret a manger, Redundancy, Closure, Coronavirus

Pret A Manger boss Pano Christou is expected to announce as many as 45 closures to the sandwich chain's c.450-strong UK estate, putting up to 800 jobs at risk.

The closures, first reported by The Mail on Sunday​, could see 'one in ten' of the group's high street sandwich shops disappear, as the business deals with plummeting sales as a result of the huge numbers of office staff working from home during the Coronavirus pandemic.

It is reported that Christou will make the announcement on Wednesday (8 July).

Regarding the plans, Christou told The Sunday Times ​yesterday ​(5 July): “There’s no easy way round this. It depends come September if the business recovers or not. Clearly we can’t keep people on that we would have if business was back at 100%.

“We could see 5% to 10% of our stores close in the UK.”

Last week it was reported that Christou had told Pret's 8,000 UK staff that weekly takings had fallen to £3m​, just 15% of normal levels, and that an announcement about the “job situation” would be made on 8 July.

Pret has so far reopened more than 300 sites, after closing them all back in March following the shutdown of the hospitality sector.

Christou says he hopes to prevent such drastic reductions by reaching customers in their own homes.

He wants to boost sales on delivery apps such as Deliveroo and JustEat by launching a range of evening dishes including rice bowls and fish pies, and also increase sales in cafés outside London.

Update: since this article was published this morning (6 July), Pret has announced that it is to close 30 UK sites, with at least 1,000 jobs at risk. To read the full story, click here​.

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