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NI’s first Pret à Manger store to open next week

Published on 27 November 2023

Coffee and sandwich chain Pret à Manger has revealed its first Northern Ireland store will open on December 7.

The Donegall Square West store, on the site of a former Patisserie Valerie shop, will bring 20 new jobs.

In September the Belfast Telegraph reported that this would be the first of five stores planned for NI, as part of the brand’s commitment to open 20 stores across Ireland in the next decade.

In the last 18 months the chain has already opened five stores in the Republic.

The new store will be operated by Pret’s long-standing franchise partner Carebrook Partnership, which has operated shops in London, including Camden, Belsize Park and Finchley.

Clare Clough, UK & Ireland managing director at Pret à Manger, said: “Our first Northern Ireland shop is a huge moment for Pret. We know the community in Belfast have long been calling out for a local Pret shop, so to be opening in the heart of the city brings us a lot of joy.

"We are delighted to be working with our longstanding franchise partners Carebrook, who have a proven track record of excellence operating Pret shops in the UK and Northern Ireland. We’ve got big plans to keep growing in Ireland and look forward to bringing our freshly made food and organic coffees to new customers across Belfast.”

Carebrook co-owners Gerard Loughran and Ray McNamara grew up in Ireland and have 30 years of experience working with the chain. They are behind the four Pret shops in Dublin.

Gerard Loughran, chief executive at the Carebrook Partnership Ltd, said: “This is an exciting milestone in our expansion of the Pret brand on the island of Ireland with the grand opening of our first shop in Belfast.

“The team has been working hard to prepare for the opening and to welcome our first customers through the door. We’re excited to introduce Belfast to Pret’s freshly made food, organic coffee and friendly service.”

Pret has announced that the new store will work with a number of Northern Irish suppliers, including Lynas Foodservice in Coleraine.

The chain has also confirmed that surplus food will be donated at the end of each day the Welcome Organisation via The Pret Foundation.

Since opening the its first London store in 1986, Pret now operates 446 shops in the UK and over 600 shops internationally.

It has operates in 16 markets on three continents and expects to have 700 shops worldwide by the end of 2023.

Earlier this year, Pret announced that half year revenue in 2023 reached £429.9m, growing by 20.2% compared with the same period in 2022. International expansion has been a key driver of this growth, with international sales now accounting for 18.9% of Pret’s revenue.

Source: Belfast Telegraph (link opens in new window)