Pret to shut 30 shops and slash jobs

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Jes­sica Carpani and Han­nah Ut­t­ley

PRET A Manger is to axe up to 1,000 jobs and per­ma­nently shut 30 shops af­ter suf­fer­ing sig­nif­i­cant losses in the coro­n­avirus cri­sis.

The food chain has al­ready re­opened 339 out of its 410 UK shops, but foot­fall re­mains down and sales are 74pc lower when com­pared to the same point last year. A to­tal of 330 peo­ple will be made re­dun­dant as a re­sult of the 30 store clo­sures, and staff will also be con­sulted about cuts in other shops and its sup­port cen­tre.

Around 1,000 jobs are un­der­stood to be at risk as well as the 330 im­me­di­ate losses.

The re­dun­dan­cies are the lat­est in a bru­tal round of lay­offs, with more than 12,000 job cuts an­nounced by ma­jor firms last week alone. Just last week, the owner of Bella Italia and Café Rouge, Ca­sual Din­ing Group, re­vealed it had axed 1,900 jobs af­ter fall­ing into ad­min­is­tra­tion, lead­ing to the clo­sure of 91 sites.

Ad­min­is­tra­tors at AlixPart­ners are now in talks with po­ten­tial suit­ors to find a buyer for all or part of the com­pany.

US hedge fund El­liott, owned by Paul Singer, is said to have made an of­fer for the en­tire busi­ness, Sky News has re­ported.

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