Friday 4 September 2020 12:01 am

Pret a Manger launches coffee subscription to battle lockdown sales slump

Pret a Manger has announced it will launch a coffee subscription service as the coronavirus pandemic continues to challenge the cafe chain’s business model. 

Pret, which has announced 2,300 job cuts due to the Covid-19 crisis, said the £20-per-month subscription is the first step in its “new digitally-led, multichannel strategy”. 

Read more: Pret a Manger to axe 2,800 jobs as sales fall to lowest level in a decade

The initiative, which will launch nationwide on 8 September, is part of the high street chain’s recovery plan after the pandemic battered sales. 

Pret said last week that sales had dropped to levels last seen a decade ago during the pandemic.

Sales have picked up since the end of July, rising more than seven per cent. 

However the future of the company remains uncertain as office workers – the firm’s core customer base – have continued to work from home despite the easing of lockdown restrictions. 

Subscribers to the new service will be able to claim up to five hot drinks a day at a monthly price of £20 a month, with the first month free. 

Pret has also taken other steps to pivot its business during the coronavirus pandemic. The chain launched a “Heat Me at Home” range, a retail range of ground coffee and espresso beans available through Amazon, and a dinner menu for delivery. 

Read more: Pret A Manger to cut staff hours in coronavirus restructuring

Chief executive Pano Cristou said: “This is just the first step in our plan to bring Pret to more people. We now have the building blocks to establish Pret as a multichannel, digitally-led business, and Your Pret Barista is the first big launch we’re able to deliver through our new technology platform.

“Since reopening back in May, our coffee sales have been rising faster than food – evidence that coffee has become an integral part of both our customers’ everyday routines and the Pret experience.”