For the first time since the pandemic began, Pret A Manger has returned a profit after shifting its focus from city centre stores to out-of-town outlets.
The sandwich retail chain said recently that it began to turn a profit in March of this year. Sales for the first half of the year more than doubled to £357.8 million (circa US$425.9 million) from £155 million (circa US$184.5 million) the previous year, when revenue was affected by Covid-19 restrictions.
The privately-owned business reported an operational loss of £226 million (circa US$269 million) in 2021 as opposed to £343 million (circa US$408.3 million) in 2020.
Sales grew more swiftly outside London than they did in the capital, “reflecting the sustained growth of Pret’s regional shop estate,” the company stated. Regional cities and towns are where more than a third of Pret’s 442 UK locations are found.
The group “grew fastest in some of the places where we only had a handful of Pret shops before,” said Pano Christou, Pret’s chief executive.
“The opportunity now is for us to take that growth and apply it internationally.”Pano Christou, Chief Executive, Pret A Manger
Pret A Manger and India’s largest firm, Reliance Industries, announced their partnership last week with the aim of opening up to 100 outlets throughout the nation over the next five years.
Since the unveiling of its medium-term growth strategy in September of last year, wherein the company stated its goal to double in size within five years, Pret has announced five new international partnerships, putting it on course to meet its international expansion plans one year ahead of schedule. The business is also expanding its retail presence in Canada, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. Thanks to said partnerships, the sandwich chain is now operating 558 stores in the UK and internationally.
The company has also expanded its digital offering. In an attempt to diversify its retail channels, Pret launched its subscription service in 2020. According to the company, the service, which was used on average more than 667,000 times a week, led to 37% of sales coming from digital channels in 2021.