Pret a Manager Latest Coronavirus Casualty to Close 30 Stores and Lay Off Staff

Pret a Manger set to axe 30 stores putting 1,000 jobs at risk as it becomes the latest victim of Britain’s High Street battle during the coronavirus crisis.

THE firm said the impact of coronavirus on trading meant it had to make a “difficult decision.” Pret said it needed to reduce staff levels across its UK shops to “reflect lower footfall, rental costs, and new safety measures.”

It did not say how many jobs would go, but a source confirmed more than 1,000. About 330 jobs will be lost with the closure of the 30 shops. Pret said 339 of its 410 shops have so far reopened following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Pret has been struggling during the coronavirus lockdown with its sales down 74 per cent compared to the same time last year, the cafe chain said it has suffered “significant operating losses” after closing all its UK branches on March 21.

A statement from Pret added that its recovery in the UK was “much slower” compared to other countries where it has stores. On top of shop closures, support teams will also be restructured, and a sale process will be started for the lease of its main support office in London Victoria.

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Tony Winterburn

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