UP TO 1,000 jobs are at risk as a high street coffee shop plans to axe 30 of its stores.

The decision was made by Pret a Manger after profits plummeted during the UK lockdown.

The BBC has reported that the company’s sales are down 74 per cent year-on-year.

The chain has more than 400 stores across the UK including three in Brighton.

These sites are in North Street, East Street and at Brighton Station.

It is not yet known which stores will be shut.

In a statement, chief executive Pano Christou said: “When the coronavirus crisis hit, we said that our priority was to protect our people, our customers, and of course Pret.

“We confirmed it was our intention to do everything we could to save jobs.

“Although we were able to do that through the lockdown, thanks in particular to the Government’s vital support, we cannot defy gravity and continue with the business model we had before the pandemic.

“That is why we have adapted our business and found new ways to reach our customers.

“It’s a sad day for the whole Pret family, and I’m devastated that we will be losing so many employees.

“These decisions are not a reflection on anyone’s work or commitment.

“But we must make these changes to succeed in the new retail environment.”

“We will be supporting our leavers to find new positions through a number of initiatives.

“Our goal now is to bring Pret to more people, through different channels and in new ways so that we can continue to provide great jobs and opportunities to our remaining employees.”