Coronavirus: Pret A Manger to shed another 400 jobs as recovery stalls over pandemic

Pret A Manger plans to shut six more shops and cut around another 400 jobs in the face of the resurgent coronavirus pandemic.

The recovery of the coffee and sandwich chain has been hampered by recent changes to COVID-19 guidance and rising case numbers.

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In August, the company axed 2,800 posts and closed 30 sites due to the economic downturn caused by coronavirus.

It said it had seen “consistent sales growth” in the four months since reopening outlets but this had “slowed since the end of September”.

Pret said its recent “setback” in trading was partially driven by difficult conditions in the capital, after workers were advised last month to work from home where possible.

The locations of the affected stores have not been announced but it is understood they are all based in the capital.

It currently has 389 shops in the UK, including 266 stores in London.

Clare Clough, Pret’s UK managing director, said: “It’s absolutely right that we take steps to stop the spread of the virus and tackle the new wave of infections.

“Sadly, the result of the rise in infections and the necessary shift in public health guidance mean that our recovery has slowed.

“We’ve said all along that it’s up to Pret to decide our own future and that we must adapt to the new situation we find ourselves in.

“That’s why we have to make these further changes as we continue to transform our business model and prepare for the six months ahead.

“We are doing everything we can to support our team members and to prevent further job losses at Pret.”

The group has looked to diversify its operations in recent months in a bid to turnaround its fortunes, including a monthly subscription service for customers.

Earlier this week, Pret announced its first service station site in a partnership with Moto, with it due to open in December.

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