Coffee and food-to-go chain’s shareholders will invest £100m into the business to support growth, including more than 200 new stores in the UK and Ireland
Pret A Manger plans to open more than 200 outlets in the UK and Ireland over the next two years | Photo credit: Pret A Manger
Pret A Manger shareholders, including its co-founder, Sinclair Beecham, are reported to funding a new £100m store expansion. The new investment is a vote of confidence in the UK-based chain, which posted a £256m ($349m) loss during the pandemic.
According to a report in The Guardian, Pret plans to open more than 200 outlets in the UK and Ireland over the next two years in London suburbs, regional cities, retail parks and franchised stores at travel hubs.
Pret, which employs 6,400 staff in the UK, currently operates around 550 stores across the UK, US, France, Dubai, and Hong Kong. The coffee and food-to-go chain is also planning to expand into new international markets in Europe and Asia.
“We are definitely much more confident and optimistic about our future. What our shareholders are showing is that they have confidence in the brand. What we have done through Covid is build the foundations for a strong launchpad to grow,” said Pret CEO Pano Christou.
Christou also revealed that the company is recruiting at least 3,000 more employees by the end of 2023, in addition to 2,000 staff already hired in 2021.
In a bid to offset reduced footfall from Covid-19 disruption, the company introduced a coffee subscription service in the US in September 2021, following a successful rollout across the UK. In the same month, Pret reported rising sales in London, suggesting many commuter and office workers are returning to city centres.