Pret A Manger expands and tops pre-Covid sales
Sandwich chain Pret A Manger saw sales exceed pre-pandemic levels for the first time in May as the business launched an affordable menu range.
Revenue in the first six months of 2022 reached £358 million, an increase of 230% on the previous year, while the business returned to profit in March.
Pret had posted two consecutive years of operating losses of £226 million in 2021 and £343 million in 2020 as coronavirus restrictions forced the closure of its UK stores.
The firm’s UK sales outside London grew faster than within the capital, reflecting the chain’s regional expansion with openings in Harrogate, Leeds and York. Regional towns and cities now represent 36% of the company’s UK estate.
Since September, Pret has added more than 2,300 people to its workforce and opened a further 27 shops in the UK, while it secured franchise partnerships to enter Canada, Spain, Portugal and India as part of international expansion plans.
Boss Pano Christou said the company “grew fastest in some of the places where we only had a handful of Pret shops before. The opportunity now is for us to take that growth and apply it internationally.”
It comes as the sandwich chain prepares to launch an affordable menu range to “help customers continue to access freshly prepared food” amid rising inflation.
Figures released by the British Retail Consortium last week showed shop prices reached their highest rate of inflation since 2008, led by a surge in fresh food production costs, while ONS inflation data showed popular sandwich ingredients ham and salmon with among the biggest price rises, up 27% and 22% respectively.
Pret has more than 20,000 employees of which 8,700 are based in the UK. Around a third of the company’s 442 UK shops are based in the Square Mile, with 550-plus now open internationally.
Pret said its coffee subscription service, launched in September 2020, is used over one million times a week with subscribers likely to spend four times as much as non-subscribers.