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East Anglia Future 50

Restaurant chain Prezzo confirms plans to close 94 restaurants including one in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 13:31 23 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:31 23 March 2018

Prezzo has confirmed restructure plans which will see it axe 94 stores. Picture: Ian Burt

Prezzo has confirmed restructure plans which will see it axe 94 stores. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2006

Hundreds of jobs are to be axed at Prezzo after the restaurant chain agreed a restructuring plan that will see nearly 100 sites close.

The company, owned by private equity firm TPG Capital, secured the backing of creditors for company voluntary arrangement (CVA) on Friday, which will allow the Italian-themed chain to exit unprofitable branches and secure rent reductions.

A total of 94 of Prezzo’s 300 outlets will close, including one at Thorpe Road in Norwich, with around 500 jobs understood to be in the firing line, although many staff will be redeployed at other restaurants.

Prezzo, which worked with AlixPartners on the restructuring, employs 4,500 people.

The news comes at a bleak time for the high street and the casual dining sector in particular.

This year has also seen burger chain Byron and Jamie’s Italian undertake CVAs as they come under increasing pressure from rising costs and falling consumer confidence.

As well as staff costs and lower footfall, the chains have been stung by the collapse in the pound, which has ramped up the cost of buying ingredients.

Soaring business rates, National Living Wage costs and the Apprenticeship Levy have also taken their toll.

News of Prezzo’s store closures come in a dismal first quarter for the UK high street, with Carpetright also announcing the prospect of closing outlets on Wednesday and Moss Bros and Mothercare also in the doldrums.

Earlier this week, New Look agreed a restructuring plan with creditors that will see it shut 60 stores, resulting in the loss of up to 980 jobs.

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