The high street has been dealt another big blow, after Prezzo became the latest mainstream chain to confirm a broad swathe of closures nationwide, due to market pressures.
The restaurant chain’s sites in Sudbury and Halstead are among 94 outlets set to shut their doors around the country, starting in April, as a result of a planned restructuring of the business, which has been brought about by a downturn in the company’s financial position.
Prezzo announced yesterday that it has entered into a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) process, and will seek approval from creditors to reduce rental costs at some restaurants and consolidate the business around a smaller core of profitable sites.
The company added that every effort would be made to redeploy staff members affected by the closures.
Jon Hendry-Pickup, chief executive of Prezzo, said: “Prezzo’s core business today is fundamentally strong and has fantastic potential.
“However, the well-documented pressures on our industry mean a number of our restaurants are underperforming.
“While we continue to be profitable and cash-generative, our position is not sustainable, so we must take decisive action now to ensure we’re able to thrive in the future.
“We recognise this process will impact many of our team members and their families.
“We are committed to keeping them informed, and will be doing all we can to support them during this difficult time.”
“We understand we need to be proactive in meeting the evolving needs of our customers, and are working extremely hard to make Prezzo a memorable and distinctive brand and experience.
“We’re seeing some early successes – a new look and feel we’ve been piloting in a number of our restaurants, for example, has been very well-received by our customers, leading to more visits and better sales.”
“I firmly believe the business has a bright future.
“While the decision to enter into a CVA process was extremely tough, it was crucial to ensuring we’re able to continue to serve our customers for years to come.”
Many customers reacted with disappointment on social media when it was revealed the sites in Gainsborough Street, Sudbury, and Market Hill, Halstead, would close.
Emily Maria Kerruish wrote on Twitter: “This was my favourite place to eat in town. I am so gutted and it was always so busy.”
Carried Hood posted: “I just hope the space is not filled with another coffee shop or charity shop.”
Chris Duck said: “I live in Colchester but tend to go to Halstead whenever eating at Prezzo. The staff are lovely.”