Pret has announced it is to close a further six stores and place up to 400 jobs at risk of redundancy in response to the expected challenges of the coming months.

In August, the to-go giant was forced to undergo a complete restructure of its retail arm as a result of the crisis, closing 30 stores and cutting 2,800 jobs.

Although it has experienced continuous sales growth since reopening, launched a successful coffee subscription service and announced a new strategic partnership with Moto, this latest move is said to reflect the worsening coronavirus situation, with growth rates having slowed in line with the increase of infection rates since the end of September.

Not all stores will be impacted by the upcoming changes, but Pret has warned that 400 jobs will be at risk and a further six shops will be permanently closed.

“It’s absolutely right that we take steps to stop the spread of the virus and tackle the new wave of infections,” said UK MD Clare Clough. “Sadly, the result of the rise in infections and the necessary shift in public health guidance mean that our recovery has slowed.

“We’ve said all along that it’s up to Pret to decide our own future and that we must adapt to the new situation we find ourselves in. That’s why we have to make these further changes as we continue to transform our business model and prepare for the six months ahead.

“We are doing everything we can to support our team members and to prevent further job losses at Pret.”