Pret A Manger to cut up to 400 more jobs as rise in Covid cases sees recovery stumble
Pret a Manger will close a further six branches and make up to 400 more roles redundant after rising Covid-19 cases impacted its recovery.
The grab-and-go chain had seen trade improving steadily since April, however this has slowed since the end of September as Covid-19 rates have started to rise once again.
UK managing director Clare Clough 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."
Pret had already cut 2,890 jobs and permanently closed 30 sites in a restructure of its UK business announced in August.
At the time it reported that trade remained at about 60% of pre-Covid levels, with weekly sales averaging about £5m – levels achieved by the business in August 2010.
In a bid to accelerate its recovery the business has launched a new coffee subscription service and a retail coffee offering with Amazon as well as partnering with Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats.
Earlier this week, Pret also announced a new strategic partnership with motorway services specialist Moto which will see the first shop at Cherwell Valley open in December, and a second at its new Rugby service area in early 2021.