UK’s Pret A Manger shelves 10-year Israeli franchise deal 

The coffee and food-to-go chain had planned to open 40 stores in Israel by 2033 as part of a 10-year franchise deal with local partners Fox Group and Yarzin Sella Group. 

Pret A Manger has terminated its franchise agreement with Tel Aviv-based retailer Fox Group and restaurant operator Yarzin Sella Group to launch in Israel.  

In a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on 31 May 2024, Fox Group said Pret A Manger had activated a ‘force majeure’ clause – which allows a party to negate contractual obligations due to extreme and unforeseeable circumstance – amid the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict.   

Fox Group is planning to oppose the move, according to Israeli media.    

“We have taken the difficult decision to end our current agreement with Fox Group and Yarzin Sella Group. We tried to delay this decision for as long as possible, but the significant ongoing travel restrictions have meant that our teams have not been able to conduct the checks and training needed to set up Pret in a new market. We want to express our sincerest thanks to the teams at Fox Group and Yarzin Sella Group, who have been supportive and extremely collaborative partners,” a Pret A Manger spokesperson told World Coffee Portal.    

Pret A Manger announced the 10-year franchise deal in January 2023 and planned to open 40 licensed stores in Israel by 2033 – the first of which was scheduled to open in the commercial Tel Aviv Port district in December 2024.   

Fox Group and Yarzin Sella Group, which would have held 75% and 25% shares in a jointly owned company to operate the brand, had pledged ILS 36m ($10m) to the venture.  

Pret A Manger operates more than 650 stores across 18 markets and is planning to open approximately 150 sites globally in 2024 – including its first in South Africa in partnership with private equity firm Millat Group.  

Source: World Coffee Portal 

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