Pret a Manger axes 2,800 jobs after coronavirus wreaks havoc

27 August 2020, 16:50

Pret a Manger has axed 2,800 positions from its workforce
Pret a Manger has axed 2,800 positions from its workforce. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Pret a Manger has said it has axed 2,800 roles from its shops after completing a restructuring of its UK business.

The cuts come after the high street chain said last month that it was planning a shake-up which would result in the closure of 30 sites.

Pret said that although there have been "clear signs of recovery" in footfall since the lockdown was eased, trade across its shops is still around 60% down year-on-year.

Chief executive officer Pano Christou said: "I'm gutted that we've had to lose so many colleagues.

"Although we're now starting to see a steady but slow recovery, the pandemic has taken away almost a decade of growth at Pret.

"We've managed to protect many jobs by making changes to the way we run our shops and the hours we ask team members to work.

"I'm hopeful we'll be able to review all these changes now that trade is improving again, and I'm encouraged by the improvements we're seeing every week.

"We'll soon be announcing a number of big changes to help bring Pret to more people.

"We're grateful to the Government for the support they've given our sector, and hope that support will continue as long as possible to give Pret time to adjust."

UK shops have seen a 60% reduction of trade this year sith weekly sales for Pret UK averaging the level they were at in August 2010 - £5million.

On Thursday the company said alongside reductions in shops, a further 90 roles have been reduced in its support team centres.

The chain announced plans to close 30 stores last month after revealing sales have fallen 74% since the start of the shutdown in March.

When lockdown measures eased, they reopened 339 of its sites.

But it continues to take a hit from social distancing measures and lower number of office workers in major cities.

Pret also permanently dissolved its newly acquired EAT brand in the UK in March.