Pret plans to double size of business

Pret A Manger has announced plans to double the size of its business within the next five years. It has been backed by a new £100m net investment to grow from JAB and Pret founder Sinclair Beecham.

The plans, which include expanding into new international markets, growing its shop estate and investing in new digital capabilities, are the next phase of Pret’s transformation project. The plan shifts the business from “following the skyscraper”, to bringing Pret to more people across the UK and beyond.

Pret first embarked on its transformation programme during the summer of 2020, as sales fell significantly due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In accounts filed this week at Companies House, revenue for 2020 was £299m, down compared to 2019 (£708m). The company’s operating loss for the year before tax was £256.5m.

Over the last month, however, Pret’s recovery has gathered pace, with trade now approaching pre-pandemic levels, once again making profit and a major recruitment drive underway.  The number of employees now working across the business has grown 28% since the start of 2021, with over 6,000 employees in the UK alone.

CEO Pano Christou said: “Last year we were in the eye of the storm during the height of the pandemic. Now we have the chance to build a bright new future for Pret.

“What the pandemic has shown us is that even at the darkest moments, more people want to experience Pret. This could be customers outside of London and other big cities; new franchise partners who want to work with us here and overseas; investors in our business; or people who want to grow their careers here and be part of what we’re trying to build.

“It’s been an incredibly tough two years, but we have a big opportunity ahead. Last year, we delivered more change than in 30 years of Pret’s history. As we move into the next phase of our transformation, we want to keep the same pace of innovation and use it drive new growth.”

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