Pret confirms 30 site closures

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Pret A Manger confirms 30 site closures 1,000 potential job losses Coronavirus sales plummet

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

Pret A Manger has confirmed it is to close 30 of its UK sites as part of its plans to restructure the business.

The sandwich chain says it has seen sales plummet as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, with takings currently down 74% when compared with the same time last year.

So far 339 sites in Pret's 410-strong estate have reopened, after all were closed back in March following the shutdown of the hospitality sector.

At least 1,000 jobs could be at risk, with a reduced workforce planned across the estate to 'reflect lower footfall, rental costs and new safety measures'.

The cuts are expected to be made before the end of the year.

As part of the group's restructuring, a sale process will be started for the lease of Pret's main support office in London Victoria.

In a statement released this morning (6 July), Pret chief executive Pano Christou 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.

"Although we were able to do that through the lockdown, thanks in particular to the government's vital support, we cannot defy gravity and continue with the business model we had before the pandemic. That is why we have adapted our business and found new ways to reach our customers.

"It’s a sad day for the whole Pret family, and I’m devastated that we will be losing so many employees. These decisions are not a reflection on anyone’s work or commitment.

"But we must make these changes to succeed in the new retail environment. We will be supporting our leavers to find new positions through a number of initiatives.

"Our goal now is to bring Pret to more people, through different channels and in new ways so that we can continue to provide great jobs and opportunities to our remaining employees."

Rumours of potential closures to the Pret estate arose over the weekend, with reports initially suggesting that as many as 45 sites could be shut​.

The group called in consultants from professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) and property agent CWM back in June​ to advise on aspects of a 'comprehensive transformation plan' for the business, which included negotiating a new rent package for the group.

Christou added: "While Pret may look and feel different in the short term, one thing I know is that we will come through this crisis and have a bright future if we take the right steps today."

Related topics: Business

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