Friday 16 October 2020 12:00 pm

Pret axes 400 jobs amid further store closures

Pret A Manger will cut 400 jobs and close a further six stores in London due to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK. 

The struggling sandwich chain said the sales growth it had seen since April had slowed from September as Covid-19 injection rates began to rise. 

Read more: London lockdown: Will the City’s small businesses survive new restrictions?

Pret declined to specify which stores would close, but said the impact on trade in the City of London, as office workers continue to work from home, meant its recovery had suffered a setback. 

The company has already cut 2,800 jobs as a result of the pandemic, which pushed sales down to the lowest levels in a decade. 

It also decided not to reopen 30 of its sites after lockdown restrictions were lifted.

The latest closures come after London was placed into tier 2 restrictions, with the new rules banning mixing with other households coming into force from midnight.

Managing director Clare Clough said: “It’s absolutely right that we take steps to stop the spread of the virus and tackle the new wave of infections. Sadly, the result of the rise in infections and the necessary shift in public health guidance mean that our recovery has slowed.

Read more: Pret a Manger boss says shift to home working will become permanent

“We’ve said all along that it’s up to Pret to decide our own future and that we must adapt to the new situation we find ourselves in. That’s why we have to make these further changes as we continue to transform our business model and prepare for the six months ahead. 

“We are doing everything we can to support our team members and to prevent further job losses at Pret.”