Pret A Manger is planning to expand its US footprint more than five-fold to 300 stores by 2029, CEO Pano Christou told Reuters on Friday, as the British sandwich and coffee chain looks to double the size of its overall business.
Privately-held Pret has struck a partnership with its existing franchisee Dallas International to accelerate its US expansion through new openings, store renovations and by introducing new formats like drive-thrus, Christou said.
With about 58 US outlets currently, Pret is focused on opening more stores in regional and suburban areas and targeting transport hubs to draw new customers, moving beyond its traditional focus on cities and office-oriented locations.
A similar move in the UK in 2021 helped Pret revive its business after a sweeping shift to work-from-home shuttered stores and crimped sales during the pandemic.
Christou added Pret was growing ten times faster outside of urban centres in the UK, where it has more than 450 stores.
Doubling Its Business
"The impact of COVID really acted as a catalyst for us to evolve the business. (Pret's products are) not developed for (just) white-collar workers... There are people irrespective of whether they're in downtown Manhattan or in the suburbs that enjoy that product," Christou said in an interview.
Popular among office workers and commuters, Pret in 2021 outlined plans to double its business by 2026 and has since then entered several new markets.
Coffee Subscription Launch
The company was on track to achieve the goal two years ahead of expectations, Christou told Reuters.
Pret's US focus comes at a time when demand is growing in the region. Its US store sales jumped 10% between May and October, while its "Club Pret" coffee subscription launch has also driven traffic and helped gain market share.
As part of the partnership, Dallas International will assume operational control of roughly 50 Pret shops in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington DC, Pret said.