Pret A Manger Will Do Anything to Survive
The pandemic caused the biggest strength of the lunch chain — Pret a manager hundreds upon hundreds of central London stores — to become its greatest weakness.
LONDON — You can find 25 Pret A Manger shops within 10 minutes of standing outside Bank Underground Station, which is located in the heart of London’s financial center.
Pret, a British sandwich and coffee chain that was founded 37 years ago, is now a household name in central London. It serves up classic Super Club sandwiches and Posh Cheddar & Pickle baguettes to office workers who are too busy to eat at their keyboards.
Pano Christou (chief executive) of the chain said that this “is the foundation of how we built Pret”. The chain was bought by JAB, a food conglomerate, two years ago. Although it has expanded to New York City and Hong Kong, its roots are still deep in London, where more than 300 of the 533 stores it operates worldwide. Pret, French for “ready-to-eat” and not its full name, has infused itself into Britain’s cultural life through traditions such as its Christmas sandwich. This is part of an informal competition between supermarkets and lunch counters in the country.
Pret’s customers disappeared in March when the coronavirus destroyed office buildings. They have not returned seven months later.
Pret’s greatest asset, its stronghold in central London, has now become its biggest flaw.
Pret’s accounts have been rewritten by the pandemic, which has pushed back Pret’s account numbers by a decade. The weekly sales in Britain in August were just 5.5 million pounds ($7.1million) less than in August 2010. This is a significant decrease from August 2010, when the company had 150 fewer stores. It laid off 28890 employees, which is a third of its workforce. The remaining employees were given 28-hour work weeks and 35-hour contracts. The chain announced that 400 more jobs would be lost and that six additional stores in Britain would close two months later.
Pret has become a symbol for a poor city center that is struggling to find commuters. Newspaper articles have been flooded with questions about Pret’s status. Photos of government officials visiting a Pret near Parliament in the summer sent a clear message about the side the government was on before instructing workers to return temporarily to their offices.
Some companies have found that the only way to deal with the pandemic is to stay calm and avoid running out cash before customers return. (Take the example of the airline industry). Others cannot wait for normalcy to return because it might never happen. Pret is one of the many companies that have had to rethink their business. This comes as everyone reevaluates their daily routines. A company that has been successful must now go into survival mode to find out what office lunch looks like without the office.
It is willing to do anything.
It plans to sell Pret food at supermarkets and has started selling coffee beans on Amazon.
A coffee subscription is another option, which aims to get people back into the shops. It offers five drinks per day, made by a barista (coffees teas, and smoothies), for PS20 per month. It could seem like a great deal. A subscriber can make even money with two cups of coffee per week. The first month is completely free. (Small print) You cannot order more than five drinks at once. Each order must wait 30 minutes.
Pret’s entire business model has not collapsed. Jessica Spungin, London Business School’s strategy and entrepreneurship professor, stated that Pret’s only one key part of the business model is still viable. Many people still work and need to have a quick lunch. She said that people have changed and are unable to sell the product to them.
Pret should experiment with many “small, low-risk” ideas simultaneously to get around this problem, Ms. Spungin stated.
42-year-old Mr. Christou sees this opportunity for Pret a manager, to be a different kind of company. Pret must transform, not worry about workers returning to work or what the government will advise them.
Pret should not be helped by customers,” he said. “I think it’s up to Pret that it figures out what it does, and how it evolves,” Mr. Christou stated at Pret’s headquarters last month to mark his first anniversary as chief executive.
After a brief stint at McDonald’s, he joined Pret as an assistant manager 20 years ago. He has been promoted to operational positions in London, Edinburgh, and Leeds. He was expected to oversee an expansion when he assumed the helm. To accelerate the growth of Veggie Pret, the company’s vegan and vegetarian spinoff, his predecessor had just purchased a rival chain.
The goal now is survival. His new mantra is to “bring Pret before the people.”
Mr. Christou stated that he got the idea for the subscription to coffee from Panera Bread in the U.S., which is also owned and controlled by JAB Holding. He said that the chief executives of JAB-owned companies chat with each other and share new ideas in a WhatsApp group.
Another benefit to the subscription plan is the possibility of gathering more data about customers. Customers will scan a QR code every time they use it.
“Pret a manager was very, very late adjusters to this,” Mr. Christou stated. He said that Panera has more than 40,000,000 customers in the United States. “Pret has been managed over the past 30 years using intuition and gut feeling, and we haven’t done that poorly, but I believe the richness and variety of data today allow you to learn more about your customers.”
Ms. Spungin stated that Pret could benefit from the data to identify its loyal customers, who she believes are “invaluable”. She suggested that Pret consider offering a food delivery service where customers can order their meals for the week and then have them delivered every morning.
Pret can diversify its business regardless of what it does, but “doing nothing is definitely not going to work”, Ms. Spungin stated. This has a greater chance of success.
With a pinch of reality, Mr. Christou’s optimism regarding Pret’s future is mixed with realism. He said, “It’s still very turbulent times.” “We aren’t out of the woods.”
The furlough program by the British government, which will end on Oct. 31, will still pay Pret’s store staff and about three million others in Britain.
Pret’s rent payment is a problem, as it is for many British hospitality businesses, particularly those located in central London. Businesses were able to defer their rent payments by the government, which put in place a moratorium against evictions. This has been twice extended now until the end of this year.
“The extension to the moratorium was huge for us,” said Mr. Christou.
Rent is not just a problem in the 26 stores that have been closed permanently in Britain. Pret also placed the lease for its headquarters in London’s Victoria, close to the original Pret, on sale. It is a vast industrial area of concrete and glass with lots of places for staff to gather.
Pret, which has been affected by office downsizing, and companies that allow employees to work remotely indefinitely, must now make the same calculations as its staff. According to Mr. Christou, the London head office will likely remain in London. However, it will be less central and would accommodate approximately 60% of the newly-depleted staff. (90 employees were laid off in August).
He also hopes that a smaller and more humble office will foster a startup culture. This will bring back the “quirky” days of the founders Sinclair Beecham & Julian Metcalfe who were always trying new sandwich recipes, such as the crayfish-and-arugula sandwich, which became a staple on the menu for many years.
Cara Delevingne Does Hollywood Glamorous on the 2023 Oscars Red Carpet
Cara Delevingne Makes Her Oscars Red Carpet Debut in an Eye-Catching Gown featuring a Thigh-High Slit
Delevingne will also serve as a presenter at tonight’s show. Cara Delevingne brought an old Hollywood glamour to Sunday’s 2023 Oscar red carpet.
At this evening’s award show, The Only Murders in the Building star, who is presenting, looked stunning in her daring red Elie Saab gown and Bulgari jewels. Her one-shoulder dress featured a thigh-high slit that showcased her platform Stuart Weitzman heels.
Delevingne took her glamorous style to the next level with a shimmery eye and bright rosy lip, finishing off with her hair pulled back off her face for an effortlessly stylish finish.
Delevingne, styled by Mariel Haenn and Rob Zangardi, got ready for her big night with hairstylist Danielle Priano and makeup artist Hung Vanngo. Vanngo used NakedBeauty MD Damsk Rose Revitalizing Gold-Infused Hydrogel Eye Masks to hydrate and plump Delevingne’s eyes – the ideal start to a glamorous night and the foundation for her makeup look.
Delevingne has been making waves on red carpets this awards season. She looked stunningly glamorous on the 2023 SAG Awards red carpet.
At the award show, model-actress Carolina Herrera, 30, stunned in an eye-catching long sleeve jumpsuit featuring plunging neckline decorated with large rosette appliques from their Fall/Winter 2023 collection. Additionally, this designer piece featured an overskirt which the star proudly showed off while walking down the red carpet.
Delevingne finished off her ensemble with black satin Casadei platform sandals and an amazing 74.73 carat necklace made of De Beers diamonds!
“Excited to be attending my first @sagawards tonight as part of the nominated cast of @onlymurdershulu!” she posted on Instagram alongside a picture of herself wearing the award show look.
Before the event, she shared on her Instagram Stories a behind-the-scenes glimpse of her beauty prep with Dior Beauty and celebrity esthetician Sarah Akram. To top it off, she donned bold brows and an intense red lip for full glam perfection.
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Delevingne has never shied away from making daring fashion statements at red carpet events. Last year, she graced the MIPCOM 2022 Fremantle photocall in Cannes wearing a flowy black minidress with sweetheart neckline and cutouts, paired with black heels with ankle-cuff detail and delicate jewelry. Delevingne kept her makeup understated but glamorous with a nude lip and glowing cheeks.
Cara Delevingne Reveals She Cried Watching Rihanna Perform at Super Bowl: ‘I Felt So Proud’
The Only Murders in the Building star chose soft waves for her hairstyle, giving off an effortless aesthetic that complemented her breezy dress perfectly.
Delevingne also donned an all-black ensemble when she hit the red carpet at Paris Fashion Week last September.
Delevingne had earlier missed a New York Fashion Week event to honor her collaboration with late designer Karl Lagerfeld, Cara Loves Karl. However, she was present at the Paris party to commemorate this momentous milestone.
Delevingne donned an oversized tuxedo blazer adorned with a harness belt bearing her late designer’s name and atelier address. Finishing off the ensemble were red lips and thigh-high black boots.
On Thursday morning, Delevingne debuted another Cara Loves Karl ensemble on Instagram with a carousel of photos featuring an elegant black blazer, matching pants and classic pointed-toe pumps. She chose not to wear a blouse underneath the blazer to show off its plunging neckline.
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LA Outfielder Draws Shohei Ohtani and Justin Bieber Comparisons | Angels News
Draws Shohei Ohtani: Over the last couple of seasons, few MLB stars have garnered as much attention as Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels. His production and dominance on the field has not been replicated in recent history and he looks set for possibly the largest contract ever when he hits free agency.
Being an international athlete from Japan, some might say his stature grows twice as fast as the average professional athlete. He’s currently representing his home country in the World Baseball Classic and they have yet to lose an official game with him leading the charge. If he can even grow any bigger than this right now, imagine what kind of legacy his name will carry if Japan were to win this entire tournament!
Ohtani has long since outgrown the title of professional baseball player, and more accurately describes himself as a global icon. Despite never making the playoffs thus far in his career, opposing franchises know what to expect when they encounter him on the field.
Bieber has sold approximately 150 million records during his music career and earned 26 Billboard Music Awards. He has performed on multiple world tours across various parts of Europe, further increasing his international fame.
Whitefield’s comparison of Ohtani to Bieber is a fitting compliment, given that Ohtani has only been with the Angels since 2018 and Bieber first burst onto the pop scene in 2010.
Malaysia Denies Hong Kong Historic Asian Games Double Double in Squash
After Hong Kong China upset India 2/0 to secure the women’s Asian Games Team Championship Squash title for the first time ever, Malaysia denied them a historic double by coming from behind and winning 2/1 in an exciting men’s final at Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The women’s final was a repeat of a qualifying tie 48 hours earlier in which Hong Kong, the second seeds, prevailed 2/1 over third seeds India to take pole position in Pool B.
India won the rematch in the final after pulling off an incredible upset, ousting defending champions Malaysia – led by newly-crowned ‘Greatest Player of All-Time’ Nicol David – who were seeded to take gold for a third consecutive time.
Unfortunately for the third seeds, Sunayna Kuruvilla could not reverse the outcome as she lost four games to Ho Tze-Lok before talented left-hander Annie Au secured gold for Hong Kong by defeating Indian top string Joshna Chinappa 11-3, 11-9, 11-5 in 28 minutes.
“HK team manager Rebecca Chiu expressed her pride in the girls,” who played well under pressure, adding, “I’m delighted for them and they certainly deserved this success.” Pictured above is the women’s presentation group from the 2002 Asian Games – congratulations!”
Hong Kong and Malaysia both advanced to the Jakarta men’s final unbeaten, hoping for their first-time title triumph.
At one point, it appeared a double was on the way when Yip Tsz Fung put Hong Kong ahead with four games to one over Malaysian Ivan Yuen after coming through an epic 20-18 second game.
With Malaysia on the brink of a thrilling comeback, team number one Nafiizwan Adnan (pictured above celebrating his triumph) defeated higher-ranked Max Lee 11-9, 11-7, 11-7.
Malaysia’s second string Eain Yow Ng – at 20 years old the youngest player in the squad – had never faced off against Hong Kong opponent Leo Au, the 2018 men’s individual gold medalist.
But in his biggest match yet, the young Malaysian truly came of age when he shutout Au in three games – 11-7, 11-7 and 11-4 – over 36 minutes to bring home gold for Malaysia.
“As a team,” exultant Ng (pictured above with his team-mates in the men’s presentation group) after their seventh consecutive win in the championship. “We came into this tournament knowing that we could win and it proved true for us.”
“I always felt confident that Nafiizwan would deliver a point for us and was just focused on my own game. However, I also did my homework well – doing lots of video analysis and beating the individual champion despite not playing in it!”
“I didn’t want to give up in my third Asiad without a fight. After being on the losing team twice already, I really gave it everything I had. Of course there was pressure when Ivan lost, but pressure is like dessert and that’s something that excites me!”
On Squash team finals day at Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex, IOC President Thomas Bach was honored as guest of honor. Pictured below, Bach can be seen receiving a presentation from Asian Squash Federation President David Mui (far right).
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