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CityTarget bigger threat with addition of Pret


CHICAGO — The first CityTarget in downtown Chicago won’t open until next summer and already the store is assured of healthy lunch and dinner time traffic thanks to the addition of a Pret A Manger restaurant.

For those who don’t speak French, Pret A Manger means “ready to eat,” and serves as a reference to the restaurant’s offering of such fresh and preservative free food as sandwiches, soups, salads and coffee. Regulars refer to the restaurant simply as Pret.

The announcement is a positive development for both companies. Target’s store receives some additional buzz courtesy of an emerging food service brand that aligns with the company trend right positioning that has the potential to drive a meaningful amount of foot traffic. For Pret, the CityTarget is an ideal venue because the brand is looking to make inroads in a new market, and the relationship with Target gives Pret, a relatively unknown brand in Chicago, some instant credibility. The first Pret location in Chicago opened roughly a year ago, and today there are only three locations in the city.

The company is primarily a U.K. phenomenon, which is where more than 200 of its 265 restaurants are located. Pret didn’t arrive in the U.S. until 2000 when it began opening stores in New York where today there are 29 locations. Washington D.C. is the company’s only other U.S. market, and there are only three restaurants there.

“We believe Pret A Manger will help us provide guests in downtown Chicago with the exceptional, complete shopping experience they have come to expect from Target,” said Annette Miller, Target’s SVP of grocery. “Our Chicago CityTarget guests can pop in for a fresh sandwich or salad during their regular visits to our store for groceries or apartment essentials.”

CityTarget is scheduled to open next July in the Sullivan Center, a historic building formerly home to the Carson Pirie Scott department store. Other CityTarget stores are slated to open next year in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The stores are said to offer urban dwellers, commuters and tourists the convenience of one-stop shopping with an affordable grocery selection, everyday essentials, on-trend fashions and exclusive designer collections.

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