North East UK news Pret A Manger closes prime Newcastle shop as Covid-19 crisis bites MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - The firm has also permanently closed its cafe in Gateshead Metrocentre
Breaking News ! Upmarket sandwich chain Pret A Manger has closed two prime shops in the region as the Covid-19 crisis continues to take its toll on the retail sector. The firm has confirmed it will not be reopening its popular shop on Grainger Market, close to the Monument in Newcastle, as well as its larger store in Gateshead’s Metrocentre, after deciding against renewing the two leases. The move has resulted in 28 redundancies and comes as the business battles huge revenue losses following the closure of its network of shops during lockdown. A Pret spokeswoman said: “We have taken the difficult decision to not reopen our Grainger Street and Gateshead shops. We’re incredibly grateful to all our team members and will be doing what we can to help them find new job opportunities. “Although we are working hard to adapt Pret to the new retail environment, the coronavirus pandemic has massively affected our industry and it is no longer financially viable for us to continue operations at these shops. “Both leases were also coming to a natural end so we felt it was the appropriate time to make the decision to close these shops permanently.” The firm’s Northumberland Street shop has reopened for takeaway and delivery.
. In letter sent to landlords, which has been seen by a national newspaper, the firm’s CEO Pano Christou said that sales were running at less than 20% of normal levels, meaning it doesn’t have the funds to make rent payments, and that it will only be able to pay 30% in its next payments. The firm has reopened 320 of its 434 shops but has still missed out on tens of millions of pounds of revenue, prompting it to work with landlords to find the best way forward. Mr Christou has also told staff that a jobs review will be announced on July 8. Pret, which has grown rapidly over the last years with its breakfast and lunch offerings, was bought by the German investment group JAB Holdings for £1.5bn in 2018. In April it secured €100m in emergency bank funding and last month appointed advisors at Alvarez & Marsal and the property consultancy CWM.
Source = MetiNews.Com