Bloomberg’s weekly Pret Index shows that sales in Pret A Manger shops in the London’s financial districts grew faster than any other location in the UK as banks called staff back to the office.
The data showed transactions were now at 68% of pre-pandemic levels in London’s financial districts, including the City and Canary Wharf – the highest figure for almost two months, and builds on momentum seen at the end of January when the Government dropped its Plan B Covid measures.
Pano Christou, Pret’s chief executive, told Bloomberg he expected those levels would rise again to +90% on Tuesdays to Thursdays, as banking groups like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup have been encouraging staff to return to their offices.
“I think on Monday and Friday, those levels will be lower,” he said, reflecting a trend Pret saw early in its sales data that pointed to bankers choosing to stay home on days that straddle the weekend.
Pret’s sales in other areas of the capital, such as the West End were almost back to pre-Covid levels. However, Christou said the multichannel retailer’s recovery was being dented by inflationary pressures, particularly the price of arabica coffee beans, which has shot up 40% since 2020.
London suburbs continued to see strong sales – above pre-Covid levels, according to the Index.