From coffee to cars: how Britain became a nation of subscribers

If there’s one thing the Covid-19 era has taught us about ourselves and our fellow humans, it’s that we love coffee. Pret a Manger’s in-shop coffee subscription YourPret Barista was launched on a Tuesday in early September last year, providing more evidence. You could have five drinks a day, every day, for £20 a month, including coffee, tea, and smoothies (redeemed with at least 30 minutes between each drink order). Pret had estimated that 2,000 to 3,000 people would sign up on the first day. The scheme had already surpassed 15,000 subscribers by 3 p.m.

Pret’s managing director in the UK, Clare Clough, maintains that this was a nice surprise and that the company never considered undervaluing its latest offering. She says, “Absolutely not.” “When we reopened our first 10 shops after [the first] lockdown, we saw people talking on Instagram about being reunited with their Pret coffee, and that was one of the main reasons we began the coffee subscription. It was being kept aloft as if it were a football trophy or something. And we decided to celebrate by offering a deal that was almost too good to be true in terms of value for money.”

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