Pret A Manger to open in Tesco stores in post-pandemic shift

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Pret A Manger plans to open its sandwich and coffee shops within Tesco stores as it re-invents its business model after the coronavirus pandemic, which hammered its sales.

Pret has suffered as many of its 389 stores are located on high streets, at transport hubs and close to offices that are still below pre-pandemic levels in terms of footfall and occupancy.

As people now begin to return to work in Britain, Pret, which is owned by investment group JAB Holdings, said it will initially open a shop in Tesco's Kensington store in central London in June with three further summer openings planned .

If successful, the expansion of Pret's partnership with Britain's biggest retailer could be rolled-out more widely.

Pret struck a deal this year that saw its bake-at-home frozen croissants and granolas sold in Tesco stores across the country and through the group's website.

"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," Pret Chief Executive Pano Christou said on Tuesday.

Pret employs about 5,000, having shed about 3,200 jobs over the last year as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Other changes to Pret's business over the last year include a subscription service for drinks, selling ground coffee and beans online through Amazon, delivery partnerships with Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats, and shops in Moto service stations.

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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