Pret opens more stores, targets retail coffee market via Amazon

Date : 12 May 2020

Nicola Knight

Senior Analyst - Food-To -Go

Following the initial reopening of 10 London stores on 16 April, this week Pret reopened a further 71 stores across the UK for takeaway and delivery bringing the total number of stores open to 101. The food-to-go specialist also announced that it will begin selling retail coffee products for home delivery via Amazon from next Monday (18 May).

Stores reopen nationwide

The next wave of reopenings will see stores in locations such as Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds, Cambridge, Brighton and Manchester open to customers. The stores will be open for reduced hours and will sell a limited range of Pret’s most popular menu items as well as essential grocery products.  Delivery will be offered via Deliveroo, Just Eat and UberEats depending on location.

‘Heat at Home’ range launch

Pret has also launched a new ‘Heat at Home’ macaroni cheese range to meet increasing demand for in-home ready meals.  Operators such as healthy food-to-go chain Leon and French bistro Cote have also recently launched ranges aimed at targeting this opportunity.

Shops will feel “very different”

Speaking about the impact of new safety measures on stores, Pret CEO Pano Christou said in a message to customers: 

"The Pret experience for both our customers and teams will continue to feel very different. For example, each shop will be fitted with Perspex screens at the tills, we will restrict the number of customers in our shops, we’ll provide hand sanitiser for customers, and face coverings to our Team Members who prefer to wear one.

First retail range launched

Pret will make its first step into grocery retail next week with the launch of a range of coffee products available for home delivery via Amazon. In April we reported that Pret had brought forward its retail plans due to the impact of coronavirus which had caused the closure of its stores.  Three of the chain’s most popular coffee blends will now be available to buy online via Amazon from 18 May, as it tries to establish alternative revenue streams during lockdown. More products will be added to the range in the coming weeks.

Starbucks and Burger King also reopening more stores this week

From Thursday, Starbucks will reopen 150 stores (predominantly drive thrus) across the UK - c15% of its UK sites. The company has taken learnings from the reopening of stores in China to help it focus on ensuring the health and well-being of employees and customers. New safety measures at UK sites will include regular hand washing for at least 20 seconds, two metre social distancing, screens at payment areas and the use of contactless payment only. 

Following the reopening of four drive thru sites last month, Burger King UK has now begun reopening some of its high-street locations as part of a trial. According to Propel, the company reopened its high-street sites in Portsmouth and Newcastle last week for delivery only, with a couple more set to reopen this week. CEO Alasdair Murdoch said that although demand is strong, "as it is largely delivery only with commission being paid, understandably, to the consolidators then we are not making money.” Shareholders back the trial to keep the brand relevant during lockdown and to prepare for the future.  The aim is to have at least one site open in every city by 31 May and at least 350 open by the end of June.  

For more on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

  • Find out what food-to-go operators and suppliers can learn from China - read our report here
  • Latest news and reports click here
  • How IGD is working with the food and consumer goods industry during coronavirus - visit our dedicated webpage