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Pret A Manger outlines multi-channel strategy for the work-from-home era

New financing will help the JAB Holdings-controlled coffee and food-to-go chain develop its multi-channel business model as more customers work from home during the pandemic

A Pret A Manger store front in London UK. The coffee and food-to-go chain said it had its multi-channel business 'started to reduce' the business' exposure to higher levels of home working | Photo credit: Wjkimmerle

UK-based coffee and food-to-go chain Pret A Manger has secured £185m from shareholders to shore up its finances and continue the development of new sales channels in the wake of sustained Covid-19 disruption.
The JAB Holdings-controlled company said the refinancing extended the £150m revolving credit facility it secured in May 2020 until December 2021 with an optional extension, subject to lenders’ consent, for a further six months. 
The new funding comes as Pret A Manger continues to evolve its business model in the context of higher levels of home working and reduced commuter footfall during the pandemic.
Reporting its financial position for the year ended 2 January 2020, Pret said the evolution of its business model to multi-channel business had ‘started to reduce business exposure to the likely shift towards more home working.’
“The Pret leadership team recognised, early on, during the pandemic, it was up to Pret to decide its own future and the business must adapt to the long-term economic and social changes that the pandemic accelerated,” the company said.
“At the heart of this transformation was establishing eight new trading channels, which are providing new revenue streams including the UK’s first coffee subscription service, a significantly expanded online delivery offer, a new range of Pret consumer packaged goods available through leading retailers, and a new dinner delivery menu.”

World Coffee Portal data shows Pret closed net 14 stores during 2020 to operate around 375 sites in its native UK market. In August 2020 the chain said it would reduce its UK workforce by 2,800 staff.
In September 2020, Pret launched ‘YourPret Barista’, a coffee subscription service offering up to five barista-made coffees, teas, and hot chocolates per day for a £20 ($26) monthly subscription, in the UK.
In November 2020, the coffee chain partnered with UK supermarket Waitrose and online giant Amazon to sell branded retail packaged coffee direct to consumers. It has also established a delivery service with third-party providers Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats and has trialled a ‘Dinner by Pret’ at-home food proposition.

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