High street stalwart Pret A Manger has given its first major indication of how it plans to counter a fall in commuter trade – it intends to open outlets in Tesco supermarkets.
The chain, which has been heavily exposed during the pandemic due to a high concentration of stores in commuter locations and London, is set to trial concessions in Tesco.
With fewer employees expected to complete a five-day week in the office once restrictions have lifted, the 500-strong chain is exploring new ways to operate.
The move will initially involve just four Pret branches in Tesco, but if it proves successful then a wider roll-out is anticipated.
Tesco does operate its own network of in-store cafes, however, which could impact where Pret is able to open.
The first concession will launch at Tesco’s Kensington superstore in London in June, with three other shops scheduled to be up and running later this summer.
Pret and Tesco already have a working relationship as the company launched its first grocery range through the supermarket this year.
Pano Christou, chief executive at Pret, said: “Last year, we set ourselves the challenge of bringing Pret to more people.
“Since then, we’ve launched and grown our Pret-at-Home range, bringing the joy of Pret to people’s homes across the country.
“Now we’re taking this further and bringing the experience of Pret to select Tesco stores, making it even easier for customers to enjoy our freshly made food and organic coffee as part of their regular Tesco shop.
“As the UK emerges from lockdown, this partnership with Tesco is one way in which we’re transforming our business model to adjust to a new way of living and working.”
The chain is also increasing the number of stores it operates at motorway service station locations in partnership with Moto.
In August last year, Pret revealed it was shedding 3,000 jobs and closing more than 70 UK sites in a bid to cut costs in the wake of the pandemic.