Pret A Manger cuts staff hours as London remains empty

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Pret A Manger plans to cut staff hours by 20% as London and UK workplaces sit empty.

The sandwich seller is struggling to survive the coronavirus pandemic and has already downsized workers and closed stores.

Many workers are staying at home despite the lifting of lockdown restrictions, leaving central London decimated. British workers were the slowest in Europe to return to the office. France, Germany, Italy and Spain have largely resumed their normal working practices.

Trade across the country has reportedly declined 65% since the lockdown went into effect in late March. In the City of London, business has fallen by 80%.

Pret’s strategy before the coronavirus was to have so many sandwich shops in and around offices, which seemed perfectly logical before the pandemic.

A spokesperson for Pret said: “Our top priority is to do whatever we can to save jobs.

“With footfall to our stores still being significantly below normal levels, we had to review the team members’ hours per week – although of course we hope to increase those hours as the business improves.

“By making these changes, we are able to save a lot of roles. ”

Pret is also in talks with landlords to lower its rent bill. In May he appointed consultancy firms to help restructure the business and in April he raised € 100m (£ 90m) in emergency funding from his banks.

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