Pret A Manger has announced it will be making further changes to its UK business in reflection of the worsening COVID-19 situation and expected challenges over the coming six months.
Over the last four months, Pret has experienced consistent sales growth, with consecutive weeks of trading progress since April. However this growth has slowed since the end of September as COVID-19 infection rates have increased.
Pret will therefore be consulting on a number of adjustments within specific areas of the UK business. Not all shops will be impacted, and the changes are expected to result in the loss of 400 jobs.
Clare Clough, Pret’s UK Managing Director, said, “It’s absolutely right that we take steps to stop the spread of the virus and tackle the new wave of infections. Sadly, the result of the rise in infections and the necessary shift in public health guidance mean that our recovery has slowed.
“We’ve said all along that it’s up to Pret to decide our own future and that we must adapt to the new situation we find ourselves in. That’s why we have to make these further changes as we continue to transform our business model and prepare for the six months ahead.
“We are doing everything we can to support our team members and to prevent further job losses at Pret.”
In recent months, Pret has embarked on a transformation programme to bring Pret to more people. The company recently successfully launched a new coffee subscription service and a retail coffee offering with Amazon. Sales on Pret’s online channels continue to perform strongly thanks to new partnerships with Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats. Further launches are planned later this year.
Earlier this week, Pret announced a new strategic partnership with Moto. The first Pret Moto shop at Cherwell Valley is scheduled to open in December, with a second shop planned at Moto’s new Rugby service area in early 2021.
However, the worsening rates of COVID-19 and the impact on trade in the City of London have meant Pret’s recovery has suffered a setback. The changes Pret is announcing today will enable Pret to continue to adapt through the winter.