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Pret a Manger buys Eat as it attempts to break the vegetarian and vegan trend

Mark Shapland
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Pret a Manger buys Eat as it attempts to break the vegetarian and vegan trend

Pret a Manger today confirmed its purchase of smaller rival Eat as it attempts to sell more food to vegetarians and vegans.

Pret has snapped up Eat’s 94 shops and will convert 'as many as possible' into Veggie Prets, as revealed by the Standard last week.

Pret opened its first Veggie Pret in September 2016 and it now has four in total.

The deal is understood to be valued around £60 million.

Clive Schlee, chief executive at Pret, said: “The purpose of this deal is to serve a growing demand of vegetarian and vegan customers who want delicious, high quality food and drink options. We have been developing the Veggie Pret concept for over two years and we now have four hugely successful shops across London and Manchester.

"The acquisition of the EAT estate is a wonderful opportunity to turbo charge the development of Veggie Pret and put significant resources behind it."

Retail analysts said the tie-up made sense as the restaurants scene grapples with falling footfall.

Britain’s High Streets are struggling, with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain on Tuesday joining a string of companies going into administration with the loss of 1,000 jobs.

High Street food chains have also been struggling to compete with the rising demand for home delivery offered by the likes of Deliveroo and Just Eat.

Eat was founded in 1996 by husband and wife Niall and Faith MacArthur and opened its first shop next to Charing Cross station in London.