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Gloucestershire Business News

Pret A Manger expands to transport hubs

Pret A Manger - with a store in Cheltenham - is planning to open more than 200 new shops in the next year, with a shift away from office and commercial areas to include regional and suburban locations, as well as transport hubs.

The move follows a fresh £100 million investment by Pret founder Sinclair Beecham.

The firm reports that sales are now approaching pre-Covid levels, with regional shops performing at strongest ever levels, and London shops recovering to over 72% of pre-pandemic weekly sales.

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.

Pret launched the UK's first coffee subscription service a year ago, with customers able to enjoy up to five hot drinks every day for £20 a month. It also struck new retail partnerships with Tesco, Sainsbury's, Amazon and others to sell bake-at-home frozen croissants, granolas, ketchups and coffee.

The new strategy comes as Pret's operating loss for the 2020 before tax was £256.5 million.

Many of the new shops will be located in transport hubs and motorway service stations, building on Pret's existing partnership with independent forecourt operator, MFG, and motorway services operator, Moto.

The company is aiming to hire at least 3,000 team members and baristas by the end of 2023.

Pano Christou, Pret's CEO, said: "It's been an incredibly tough two years, but we have a big opportunity ahead."

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