Pret a Manger plots Tesco store launch in bid to shake off City image
Pret a Manger is planning to open stores in Tesco supermarkets as it looks to shrug off its reputation as a hotspot for office workers.
The trial partnership marks efforts by the coffee chain to broaden its appeal, with boss Pano Christou saying he wanted to “bring Pret to the people”.
Its first concession will open in June at the Tesco superstore in Kensington with another three to follow this summer, Pret confirmed to City A.M. this morning.
Like regular Pret stores, the Tesco sites will serve food freshly prepared in an on-site kitchen as well as coffee and teas prepared by baristas, the Times first reported.
It comes after Pret rolled out frozen croissants and granolas on Tesco shelves in a bid to expand the brand.
The popular chain, which was founded in 1986 Julian Metcalfe and Sinclair Beecham, has been badly hit by the pandemic as the shift to home working decimated business from office workers.
New owner JAB Holding Company, which snapped up the company for £1.5bn in 2018, has slashed over 3,000 jobs and closed more than two dozen stores as a result.
Pret has already launched a £20-a-month subscription, which gives customers up to five coffees a day, in an effort to attract more trade.
Boss Christou told the Times that his company was attracting “all sorts of different customers” through its subscription, adding that the Tesco launch marked further efforts to offset the decline in commuter business.
“Instead of Pret following the skyscrapers, for us it’s about bringing Pret to the people,” he said. “This could be an opportunity for us to do that, dependent on how the test goes.”