retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Guardian has a story about how British sandwich chain Pret a Manger has survived an initially shaky expansion into the US to become a steadily growing company, with 65 stores in the US - its second largest market - and 10 more scheduled to be opened in 2016.

While the company also has emphasized its "ethical policies," such as hiring homeless people and donating leftover food to shelters, CEO Clive Schlee tells the Guardian that "Pret’s key strategy of making food fresh in kitchens behind each coffee shop ... is the key strength of the business. Supermarkets and the vast majority of other sandwich chains make their food in factories and deliver them to stores."

Pret’s system, he says, "offers better flexibility to adapt to new food trends – such as veggie food and avocados – and sudden fluctuations in demand caused by the weather or disruption at transport hubs that can mean surges or slumps in customer numbers."
KC's View:
I'm so happy to see Pret a Manger gaining some US traction. I've always liked them during my London visits, but in NYC they always seemed to be a bit of an awkward fit. Just goes to show you what a bit of perseverance and persistent innovation will do for a company.