Poalim Equity is reportedly lining up the UK coffee and food-to-go chain for entry into the challenging Israeli coffee shop market as the business continues to pursue international growth
International brands have found the Israeli branded coffee shop market challenging to navigate | Photo credit: Pret A Manger
Poalim Equity is reportedly exploring bringing UK coffee and food-to-go chain Pret A Manger to Israel.
Poalim Equity, the investment division of Israel’s Bank Hapoalim, is examining the business opportunity with domestic retail chain Fox-Wizel Group. The deal would also include an Israeli market entry for US burger chain Shake Shack.
In July 2022, Fox-Wizel Group notified the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange of negotiations to launch Pret A Manger outlets in Israel.
A statement from Poalim Equity declined to comment on the reported negotiations. The company said it frequently examines investment opportunities and only announces investments ‘if and when the required procedures are completed’.
With over 1,300 outlets, Israel is the third largest branded coffee shop market across the Middle East. International brands have found the domestically dominated Israeli market challenging to navigate.
World Coffee Portal research found only six branded coffee chains currently operating in Israel, led by Germany’s Café Landwer with 65 outlets. Eight of the 10 largest operators are Israeli.
Pret A Manger CEO Pano Christou has previously said he wants to oversee a ‘genuinely worldwide’ business similar to global fast-food giant McDonald’s.
The coffee and food-to-go chain currently operates more than 640 stores, including 200 international outlets. In September 2021 the company outlined plans to double the size of its business within five years and expand into five new markets by the end of 2023.
Pret A Manger has since entered the Canadian, Indian, Irish and Kuwaiti markets, with franchise plans agreed to also launch in Spain and Portugal next year.