On Monday, the sandwich chain said that while it has reopened more than 300 UK shops and established an effective new operating model to protect customers, footfall and sales remain down.
Sales across UK shops are down 74 per cent year on year, Pret said, adding that it is also experiencing a much slower recovery in the UK, in comparison to the other countries it trades in.
As a result, 30 shops across the UK will be closed permanently in the second half of 2020.
The business has also decided to reduce shop teams across its remaining UK shops to reflect the lower levels of demand, putting around 1,000 jobs at risk.
Pano Christou, Pret’s chief executive, 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.”
The company added that a consultation with staff will take place this week, with Christou stating he is “devastated” to be losing so many workers.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Here is the full list of Pret shops that will not reopen:
- St George University Kiosk
- 421 Strand
- Heathrow Terminal 3 landside
- 109 Fleet St
- Strutton Ground
- Centre Point
- Warwick Way
- Byward Street
- Southwark The Cut
- 41 Piccadilly
- Wood St
- 59 High St Worcester
- Albert St Nottingham
- Lion Yard Cambridge
- Fargate Sheffield
- High St Uxbridge
- Broad St Reading
- High Wycombe
- Metrocentre Gateshead
- Queensgate Centre Peterborough
- Shandwick Place Edinburgh
- East Street Chichester
- Glasgow Fort Shopping Centre
- Gallowtree Gate Leicester
- Capitol Centre Cardiff
- Grainger Street Newcastle
- Chapelfield Norwich
Reduced sales have also had an impact on Pret’s main charity, the Pret Foundation. To enable the Foundation to continue its important work fighting poverty and helping the homeless, a major fundraising campaign will be launched during the second half of the year, beginning with a digital raffle to raise funds.
Pret is not the only food chain to be impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
Last week, bosses for Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge and Las Iguanas announced they will not reopen 91 of their 250 restaurants.
A total of 1,909 employees will lose their jobs after bosses had to call in administrators amid the “extreme operating environment” it has faced.
“We are acutely aware of our duty to all employees and recognise that this is an incredibly difficult time for them,” said James Spragg, chief executive of the Casual Dining Group.
“Working alongside the administrators we will do everything we can to support them through this process with a view to preserving as much employment as we are able to.”
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