// Pret a Manger axes 2,800 roles after completing restructure
// The restructure also includes the closure of around 30 shops
// The food-to-go retailer says Covid-19 set back sales to what it was 10 years ago
Pret a Manger has axed 2800 from its chain of high street shops after completing a restructuring of its UK business.
The cuts come after the high street chain said last month that it was planning a shake-up which would result in the closure of 30 sites.
Pret a Manger said that although there have been “clear signs of recovery” in footfall since the lockdown was eased – with sales up seven per cent each week since July – trade across its UK shops was still around 60 per cent down year-on-year.
The reduction in staff numbers has been driven by “shorter opening hours, lower transaction levels, and the losses faced by the business in 2020”, it said.
Alongside the reduction in shop staff, a further 90 roles have been cut in the company’s support centre teams.
Around 1000 other roles at the business have been preserved after staff members agreed to move to a lower level of minimum weekly hours.
These hours will be continuously reviewed to reflect footfall and sales levels during the rest of 2020 and early 2021, Pret a Manger said.
“I’m gutted that we’ve had to lose so many colleagues,” chief executive officer Pano Christou said.
“Although we’re now starting to see a steady but slow recovery, the pandemic has taken away almost a decade of growth at Pret.
“We’ve managed to protect many jobs by making changes to the way we run our shops and the hours we ask team members to work.
“I’m hopeful we’ll be able to review all these changes now that trade is improving again, and I’m encouraged by the improvements we’re seeing every week.
“We’ll soon be announcing a number of big changes to help bring Pret to more people.
“We’re grateful to the Government for the support they’ve given our sector, and hope that support will continue as long as possible to give Pret time to adjust.”
with PA Wires