Pret a Manger awards media to Goodstuff as part of turnaround plan

Tony Holdway, the former Dreams and Domino's Pizza marketer, has been brought in on an interim basis.

Coffee subscription service: offers up to five drinks per day (Getty Images)
Coffee subscription service: offers up to five drinks per day (Getty Images)

Pret A Manger has appointed Goodstuff Communications to run its UK media planning and buying business as the high-street chain bids to combat a decline in commuter footfall with a subscription service and more investment in data-driven outdoor marketing.

The independent media agency won the £5m account after an informal review process.

Pret has worked with media agencies in the past but there is no incumbent, having most recently relied on a non-specialist marketing technology to buy its media.

The brand's marketing is now led by Tony Holdway, the former Dreams and Domino’s Pizza chief marketer. He joined Pret in May as interim chief customer and growth officer, after Barnaby Dawe left as chief customer officer last year.

Goodstuff will start working with Pret immediately to launch “YourPret Barista” – billed as the UK’s first in-shop coffee subscription service. It offers people up to five barista-prepared drinks per day for a fixed monthly price. 

The brand will soon launch a digital out-of-home campaign to promote YourPret Barista using Talon’s Ada mobile data to track Pret customer journeys before and after coronavirus lockdown measures took hold in the UK in March. 

Pret is hoping a data-led campaign, in which it can pinpoint its audience and establish the most relevant locations when they are thinking about coffee, will provide a lucrative growth area amid ongoing uncertainty about when office-based workforces will return to their normal working environments. 

The brand, which relies heavily on commuter football, was bought for £1.5bn two years ago by global consumer goods investor JAB, which had wanted to expand the business both domestically and internationally.

The company had begun talks in April to raise a €100m urgent loan from banks to help the business restart and transform, many news outlets reported at the time.

Holdway said: “We see the Goodstuff team as a great cultural fit with our team here at Pret. We’re already working together to drive growth through greater marketing and digital initiatives. 

“Our new coffee subscription is just the start of this journey. It’s going to be exciting to see the positive disruption we can all conjure up.”

Pret employs roughly 8,000 people and trades from about 400 sites in the UK, with another 120 across the world.