Pret a Manager to close another six stores and cut 400 jobs

LaToya Harding
·2 mins read
A Pret A Manger sign is seen in central London, Britain October 7, 2018. Reuters/Henry Nicholls
A Pret A Manger sign is seen in central London, Britain October 7, 2018. Reuters/Henry Nicholls

Pret A Manger has announced plans to close another six shops and cut around 400 jobs, as the retail industry continues to reel from the coronavirus outbreak.

The coffee and sandwich chain said its recovery has slowed in the face of tightened restrictions and a rising number of infections.

In August, Pret axed 2,800 roles as part of a restructuring which saw it close 30 sites. Alongside the job cuts in shops, it slashed a further 90 roles in its support centre teams.

The company said it has seen "consistent sales growth" in the four months since reopening branches across the country but that progress had "slowed since the end of September".

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.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Up to 1,200 job losses as Zizzi and ASK Italian close 75 branches

It comes after pub chain Marston’s (MARS.L) and restaurant group Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) also announced sweeping job cuts this week.

More than 2,000 furloughed workers at Marston’s pubs are set to lose their jobs, as the company blamed new coronavirus restrictions for cutting staff numbers.

Meanwhile, GBK was bought out of administration by Boparan Restaurant Group in a deal that will secure 35 sites and 669 jobs. However, 26 of GBK’s restaurants will be shut and 362 jobs lost.

As many people continue to work remotely, despite the easing of some restrictions, some city centres still remain ghost towns. UK workers have been the slowest in Europe to return to the office, severely hitting a number of shops and restaurants that rely on trade from city workers.

Watch: Coronavirus restrictions tighten in London