West Sussex branch among 30 Pret A Manger shops to close
Pret A Manger has become the latest high street victim of the coronavirus pandemic, with a store in West Sussex among 30 across the country to be closed.
The UK coffee chain said it is ‘no longer financially viable’ to reopen its shop in East Street. Chichester, after Covid-19 saw sales plummet by 74 per cent nationwide.
A Pret spokesperson said: “We have taken the difficult decision to not reopen our East Street, Chichester shop.
“We’re incredibly grateful to all our team members and will be doing what we can to help them find new job opportunities.
“Although we are working hard to adapt Pret to the new retail environment, the coronavirus pandemic has massively affected our industry and it is no longer financially viable for us to continue operations at this shop.”
Pret, which has opened 339 of its 410 shops in the UK, said it was looking to ‘reduce headcount across remaining UK shops to reflect lower footfall, rental costs and new safety measures’.
Plans are now underway to ‘bring Pret to more people’, including new delivery partnerships, a retail coffee offering, click & collect trials and evening dinner service.
Pret CEO, Pano Christou: “It’s a sad day for the whole Pret family, and I’m devastated that we will be losing so many employees. But we must make these changes to adapt to the new retail environment.
“Our goal now is to bring Pret to more people, through different channels and in new ways, enabling us to grow once more in the medium term.”
Pret’s other Sussex stores include; Horsham, Crawley, Gatwick and Brighton.
The business said it has made the ‘difficult decision’ to reduce teams across its remaining UK shops to ‘reflect the lower levels of demand’.
Pret’s support teams will also be restructured to ensure that Pret has the ‘right number of people’ in place to support the business in its new environment.
“When the coronavirus crisis hit, we said that our priority was to protect our people, our customers, and of course Pret,” Mr Christou added. “We confirmed it was our intention to do everything we could to save jobs.
“Although we were able to do that through the lockdown, thanks in particular to the Government’s vital support, we cannot defy gravity and continue with the business model we had before the pandemic. That is why we have adapted our business and found new ways to reach our customers.
“These decisions are not a reflection on anyone’s work or commitment. But we must make these changes to succeed in the new retail environment. We will be supporting our leavers to find new positions through a number of initiatives.
“Our goal now is to bring Pret to more people, through different channels and in new ways so that we can continue to provide great jobs and opportunities to our remaining employees.
“While Pret may look and feel different in the short term, one thing I know is that we will come through this crisis and have a bright future if we take the right steps today.”
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