Shrewsbury’s Pret A Manger store is to close as the company restructures following operating losses due to coronavirus.
The sandwich chain is closing 30 branches, including its Shrewsbury store on Pride Hill, at least 1,000 jobs could be lost across the UK.
The chain has currently reopened 339 of its 410 stores following the easing of lockdown restrictions, but says sales were 74% lower compared to the same point last year.
Pret Chief Executive, Pano Christou said: “When the coronavirus crisis hit, we said that our priority was to protect our people, our customers, and of course Pret. 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.
“It’s a sad day for the whole Pret family, and I’m devastated that we will be losing so many employees.
“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.”
Revamp of the business
The company is currently revamping its business model by moving away from serving office workers to reflect on new trading conditions.
Pret has recently launched a retail coffee offering with Amazon, expanded its partnerships with Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats, and launched click and collect trials in five London stores.
It will also soon trial an evening delivery menu from seven shops and a new hub kitchen in London.
Pret a Manger owns 550 outlets and employs 13,000 staff globally.