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New York magazine reports this week that British sandwich retailer Pret A Manger, which has been an enormous success and a ubiquitous presence in London, has found New York City a tougher place to be king of the hill, top of the heap.

Despite plenty of fanfare accompanying its entry to New York, the chain has shuttered three of its sixteen stores, and postponed plans to have 40 outlets in New York by 2004.

Part of the problem for Pret A Manger, in which McDonald’s in an investor, has been adapting to local tastes. Company CEO Andrew Rolfe tells the magazine, “For instance, we’ve had mayonnaise issues. Mayonnaise is quite popular in Britain, but Americans aren’t so receptive.” In addition, Pret Manger doesn’t serve soup, and New Yorkers love soup.

However, Pret is adapting. It will introduce a no-mayo line, and bring out a soup line.
KC's View:
If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. But nobody said it was going to be easy.