Pret

Pret A Manger’s being sold off for 1.5 billion pounds

Just thirty years ago, it was nothing but a little sandwich shop in central London.

A company called JAB Holdings, who already own Peet's Coffee, Einstein Bros, Krispy Kreme, and countless other lunchtime snack stops, are buying up Pret A Manger for £1.5bn.

What it means: Though we might take pride in saying we're totally loyal to our favourite lunch spot – you're an EAT person, or a Pret person, and that's just the way it is – it often turns out our sense of individualism is a bit of a con because these places are pretty much all owned by the same company.

JAB Holdings is one of those companies, though Nestle still holds top spot in the coffee market.

It's currently owned by a firm called Bridgepoint, who bought Pret for £346 million ten years ago – so they're getting a pret-ty (wa-hey) good deal out of all this.

Pret used to be just a single sandwich shop in Victoria, London. Now, there are 500 shops around the world, and seeing as we'll probably continue to be incapable of remembering to pack our own lunch so will keep on forking out 6 quid for a sandwich and some coffee instead, it's set to keep growing.

The only dent in the company's prospects is Brexit: only one in 50 job applicants to the firm in London are from the UK, which is making bosses slightly worried about who'll be pouring the coffee in a few years time.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?