In a statement shared with Boston.com on Wednesday, the company revealed that U.S. sales were down by 87 percent year-over-year due to the pandemic, and that it had made the decision to close 17 outposts across Boston and Chicago (with the exception of a location at the University of Chicago). Pret A Manger operated six outposts in Boston, including locations in the Back Bay, Financial District, and South Station.
“It’s a sad day for the whole Pret family, and I’m devastated that we will be losing team members,” Pano Christou, CEO of Pret A Manger, said. “But we must make these changes to adapt to the new retail environment. Our goal now is to bring Pret to more people, through different channels and in new ways, enabling us to grow once more in the medium term.”
The company has reopened 51 shops in New York, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia, but announced it will also be closing 30 locations in the U.K., where it shared it is experiencing a slower recovery than in the U.S.
The press release stated that Pret A Manger is in the process of reshaping its business model, and that it has expanded its delivery options with Grubhub and Seamless in the past few months.
“We cannot defy gravity and continue with the business model we had before the pandemic,” Christou said. “That is why we have adapted our business and found new ways to reach our customers. While Pret may look and feel different in the short term, one thing I know is that we will come through this crisis and have a bright future if we take the right steps today.”
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