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Pret a Manger seeks creative partner for global digital strategy

UK coffee and food-to-go chain seeks to appoint creative agency as it develops its omni-channel presence globally

A Pret A Manger store in New York, USA | Photo credit: Ajay Suresh 



Pret A Manger is reportedly seeking a creative partner focused on ‘digital creative expertise and end-to-end customer journeys’ to help develop its omni-channel presence across Europe, Asia and the US.
 
The UK-based coffee and food-to-go chain has been hard hit by disruption to its core office worker and commuter customer base during the pandemic, amid a sharp rise in home working and steep declines in travel hub footfall.
 
“Like a lot of businesses, we’ve got to rethink the way we reach and serve new customers – and that’s why we’ve launched this pitch process,” said Pret’s Chief Customer and Growth Officer, Dan Burdett.
 
"Our new global creative partner will help us to change the way we communicate with customers, transforming us from a shops-first brand to one, which has a truly omni-channel approach, helping us to take Pret to more people in 2021 and beyond.”

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.
 
The coffee chain, which was purchased by German conglomerate JAB Holding Company, in June 2018 for a rumoured £1.5bn, has subsequently sought to diversify its offering to compensate for traditional store sales declines.
 
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.
 
While the majority of Pret’s 545 of global stores are located in the UK, its search for an international brand agency underlines the seismic shift in consumer shopping habits towards e-commerce and digitally-enhanced hospitality experiences during the global pandemic.

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