Pret a Manger to open 20 new stores across Ireland and Northern Ireland over the next decade creating 500 jobs
- The sandwich shop’s Iexpansion is expected to create around 500 jobs
- It is part of Pret’s ambition to expand into new markets across the world
- Pret shut down around 40 stores in Britain and cut 3,700 jobs in 2020
Pret a Manger is set to make its entry in Ireland and Northern Ireland as it pushes ahead with expansion plans after shutting down dozens of shops during the pandemic.
The coffee and sandwich chain has said it plans to open 20 new stores on the island over the next decade, with the first to open in Dublin this summer.
Pret shut down around 40 stores in Britain and cut 3,700 jobs since the start of Covid after racking up massive losses as office workers switched to remote working.
Expansion: Pret a Manger is set to open its first Irish cafe in Dublin this summer
The company, which is owned by investment group JAB and founder Sinclair Beecham, will open the new stores thanks to a deal with Carebrook Partnership, one of its longest serving franchise partners.
The move is expected to create around 500 jobs and is part of Pret’s ambition to expand into new markets across the world.
The chain has finally started to see business bounce back as workers return to the office, with sales at its stores in the City of London at 86 per cent of pre-Covid levels last month.
In September last year, the company revealed plans to open over 200 new shops in the UK over two years.
It said the new outlets would be concentrated in more suburban and provincial areas, where footfall has held up better than in city centres, as well as in transport hubs and motorway service stations.
At the time, it also said it aimed to double the size of the business within five years, launching into five new markets by the end of 2023.
Chief executive Pano Christou wants to launch into five new markets by the end of 2023
Chief executive Pano Christou said: ‘Setting up shop in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland has been our plan for a long time, and we’re thrilled that we’re finally able to make it happen.
‘There has long been demand from our neighbours on the island of Ireland to bring Pret’s freshly prepared food and organic coffee, and now with the backing of Carebrook Partnership Ltd we’re able to do so.
‘We look forward to making this partnership a success.’
Pret currently has shops in the United Kingdom, United States, Hong Kong, France, Dubai, Switzerland, Brussels, Singapore and Germany.
The company, which had built its business capturing city centre trade using the mantra ‘follow the skyscraper’, has had to adjust to a shift in consumer behaviour in the wake of the pandemic.
It has formed tie-ups with the UK’s largest independent forecourt operator, Motor Fuel Group, and services station business Moto.
In addition, it has launched the UK’s first high street coffee subscription service where customers can pay £25 per month to get up to five free drinks per day, new organic coffee products, and struck partnerships with supermarkets such as Tesco.