Pret A Manger Planning To Double In Size Over Next Five Years
Coffee and sandwich chain Pret a Manger is planning to double in size over the next five years, replacing a previous UK focus on offices with expansion in regional and suburban areas, transport hubs and motorway service stations.
Urban fast food outlets were hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting some to rethink their growth strategies.
Pret, which is owned by investment group JAB and founder Sinclair Beecham, has said that it is planning to open more than 200 UK shops in the next two years, including 100 franchise shops.
It also intends to enter five new markets in Europe, the Middle East and Asia by the end of 2023 and invest in new digital capabilities.
Pret, as it is commonly known, currently runs 550 shops across five markets - the UK, US, France, Dubai and Hong Kong.
Majority owner JAB and Beecham will invest a further £100 million, on top of the £185 million that they ploughed in to get Pret through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pret closed stores and shed jobs during the COVID-19 crisis as revenue slid 58% to £299 million in 2020 and the group recorded an operating loss of £256.5 million.
Many of its UK stores are located close to offices, which were badly hit when people started working from home.
Shift From "Following The Skyscraper"
Pret said that its recovery plan shifts from "following the skyscraper" to serving more people across the UK and overseas.
Pret CEO Statements
"Pret has just under 400 stores in the UK and a lot of our national competitors have 2,000-2,500, so we see that there's huge runway for us to grow the brand," Pret CEO Pano Christou told Reuters.
"We are just broadening our approach to growth," he said.
Trading Has Gathered Pace
Pret said that over the last month its trading has gathered pace, with regional shops performing at their strongest levels.
The group's workforce has grown 28% since the start of 2021. It now employs nearly 8,000 individuals globally, including 6,400 in the UK, and is aiming to hire a further 3,000 by the end of 2023.
Subscription Service For Drinks
To help it survive the pandemic, Pret has transformed its operating model and last year launched a subscription service for drinks.
The service was added to the US last week and launches in other markets are planned over the next few months, Christou said.
Selling Coffee Through Retailers
Pret is also selling coffee lines through Amazon, Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Ocado , has delivery partnerships with Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats, and is also trialling shops within Tesco stores.