The UK-based coffee and food-to-go chain says existing franchisee Dallas International will expand, upgrade and diversify its US estate, which currently comprises 58 stores
Pret A Manger currently operates 58 US stores, 40 of which are in high footfall locations in Manhattan | Photo credit: Pret A Manger
Pret A Manger is seeking to triple its US footprint over the next five years as part of a new joint venture with existing franchisee Dallas International.
As part of the agreement, Dallas International will assume control of 52 Pret A Manger stores in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington. The deal is expected to complete in February 2024 and will grant Dallas International exclusive rights to open new outlets in those markets.
Pret A Manger currently operates 58 US stores, 40 of which are in high footfall locations in Manhattan.
As well as diversifying Pret’s US footprint to suburban locations, Dallas International will also carry out an extensive store renovation programme and open the chain’s first drive-thru outlets.
“We have huge ambitions for Pret to become a more globally recognised brand that is working in partnership with our franchisees to unlock significant growth in new markets. This approach has driven significant growth in Europe and Asia and enabled Pret to track ahead of its mid-term global growth target to double the size of the business by 2026. We look forward to replicating these results in the US, building upon our already successful partnership with Dallas as we jointly pursue our next phase of growth,” said Pano Christou, CEO, Pret A Manger.
Pret A Manger began working with Dallas Holdings in the UK in November 2021 before entering a US partnership in December 2022 to expand its presence in New York and California.
Speaking to Reuters, Christou said Pret A Manger could go even further in the US and reach up to 300 stores by replicating the chain’s UK growth strategy, which has focused on opening stores in suburban and transport hub locations.
In a bid to revive its UK business during pandemic trading restrictions, Pret A Manger refocused its brick-and-mortar business to neighbourhood locations to cater to increased hybrid home-and-office working.
The move appears to have paid off, with Pret A Manger’s 450-store UK business growing 10 times faster outside of urban centres, according to Christou. A focus on digital transactions, including a new loyalty scheme and successful in-store subscription also contributed to Pret returning to profitability in mid-2022.
Christou added that consumer demand for Pret A Manger in the US is growing, with the launch of its Club Pret food and beverage subscription and app-enabled Pret Pick-Up programme key drivers of in-store traffic. The coffee and food-to-go chain achieved 10% US sales growth in the five-months ended 30 September 2023.
Alongside its company-owned and Dallas International licensed stores, Pret A Manger is also exploring new franchise opportunities in Texas and Florida.
World Coffee Portal research shows the total branded US coffee shop market achieved robust 4% outlet growth over the last 12 months to reach 40,062 stores. The market, now 7% above its pre-pandemic size, is forecast to exceed 41,300 outlets in 2024 and 45,200 by September 2028.