Pret a Manger could be linking up with Ipswich Tesco

Kesgrave Tesco

Could Kesgrave's Tesco host a Pret - offering sandwiches to residents working from home? - Credit: Archant

More than two years after it abandoned plans to open a cafe in the former Grimwades store in Ipswich, could Pret a Manger find another way to sell its products in the area?

It has linked up with grocery giant Tesco for a trial to put Pret counters in stores in London - and if that is successful it could be rolled out across the country.

The aim is to make its takeaway food available to people working from home as well as those in town and city centre offices. Pret has already announced some of its sites will close because it fears many potential customers will no longer be working from central offices.

It said it will open a further three stores in supermarkets later in the summer as part of its transformation plan designed to help it shrug off the impact of the pandemic.

Pret announced more than 3,000 job cuts last year after enforced closures and weak footfall, driven by lower numbers of commuters, heavily hit sales.

It has made it clear that if the trial proves successful, it could expand it to other sites across the country. In the Ipswich area the Tesco stores at Copdock, Martlesham and Kesgrave could be considered because they are all near substantial residential areas where people might be working from home.

The company has launched its first retail ranges, a coffee subscription service and expanded through delivery platforms in a bid to help trade recover.

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It already sells its bake-at-home frozen croissants and granola in around 700 Tesco stores across the UK.

Pret said its new sites in Tesco stores will serve its coffee and teas as well as a variety of freshly prepared food.

Pano Christou, chief executive for the chain, 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

“Now we’re taking this further and bringing the experience of Pret to select Tesco stores. 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.”

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