Le Pain Quotidien has closed nine of its ten UK stores with immediate effect, citing lower footfall in London, alongside higher property and staffing costs, for its decision to enter administration
A Le Pain Quotidien store in Covent Garden, London | Photo credit: Le Pain Quotidien
Belgian bakery café chain Le Pain Quotidien has closed all but one of its UK stores and entered administration.
BrunchCo UK, which licenses Le Pain Quotidien in the UK, has appointed financial advisory firm Kroll as administrators, with the move resulting in 250 job losses.
The bakery café chain has closed nine of its 10 UK stores, with only its outlet at St Pancras International continuing to trade. The London train station site is run by Le Pain Quotidien’s sister firm SPQ Holdings.
Sarah Rayment, Global co-Head of Restructuring at Kroll, said Le Pain Quotidien’s revenues were negatively impacted by reduced commuter and business footfall in London, as well as high rent and increased wage costs in the capital.
“As part of the next steps of the insolvency, we will be looking to realise value from the company’s leasehold interests and other assets,” she added.
Le Pain Quotidien has struggled since the onset of the pandemic in 2020 and has closed 16 stores in the last three years.
However, the decision to enter administration comes less than six months after the business expressed renewed optimism for UK outlet growth.
In February 2023, the Belgian café chain outlined plans for UK expansion via a new franchising model and partnered with Edinburgh-based franchise consultancy Platinum Wave to develop a network of single and multi-unit franchisees across affluent university cities.
Le Pain Quotidien’s international operations, which includes approximately 200 stores across 15 countries, is unaffected by the move.
In May 2020, the company’s US business filed for bankruptcy, with New York-based Aurify Brands providing a funding package to continue operations in the country, before acquiring all US units for $3m. Le Pain Quotidien currently operates 56 US outlets.