U.K. sandwich chain Pret A Manger is beefing up its U.S. expansion plans. They're increasing the number of its U.S. store openings, a move that the company hopes will drive growth. This will be the second push by the company to prosper in the U.S., after its first attempt a few years ago was met by indifference in New York. However, the company insists that it has “educated” the American consumer on the value of its prepared foods, which are made in on-site kitchens and pre-packaged.
Pret came to the U.S. in 2000 with a U.K. model and opened a lot of stores. That led to excessive overheads, but since then, they've stepped back and adjusted the model with hopes for success this time. The company plans to open 26 stores in New York and Washington by the end of 09 before moving into Chicago.