business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

I was interested to see a Yahoo Finance report that in the UK, "High street sandwich chain Pret a Manger has said it will roll out baked treats in Tesco, as it swims against the tide of UK high street closures and lockdown pressures.

"The deal with the UK's biggest supermarket chain is an effort to pivot to the 'new normal' and prospects of a shift in working patterns for good.

"The move will initially focus on the rollout in freezer aisles of the signature Pret croissants for baking at home, which will be available in 700 Tesco stores.  Pret's managing director Claire Clough has also said that dressings and sauces are in consideration for sale in supermarkets."

This intrigues me for several reasons.

First, it shows how companies like Pret a Manger need to pivot.  The company has eliminated thousands of jobs, closed 30 stores permanently, and currently has about half of its stores closed because of the pandemic, with staff on furlough.  Pret a Manger had to do something to remain relevant, and deals like these make sense.

The deal also suggests a possible future.

What if Tesco, which already has a considerable footprint in the UK, could work with Pret a Manger to use its locations as pick-up locations for products ordered online.  Maybe, in a world where physical retail locations mean something different than in the before-times, some vending-locker combination could be used to further Tesco's ubiquity.

When I read about the Tesco-Pret a Manger deal, I think it could just be the beginning of an Eye-Opening future.