Pret reshuffles marketing team as director steps down

Group marketing boss Mark Palmer will stay on in an advisory role but increase focus on other interests, while Pret’s food director will take on marketing responsibilities.

Pret A Manger Veggie pop-up

Pret A Manger’s group marketing director Mark Palmer is stepping down from his current role prompting several changes to its senior marketing leadership team.

Palmer will advise Pret’s board on marketing strategy as well as act as a mentor to marketing teams outside the UK but will step away from day to day responsibilities.

He will instead dial up his focus on other interests, Cawston Press, the drinks brand he co-founded in 2009 that he has been working with as a non-executive and Union Hand Roasted Coffee, where he has been a non-executive since 2007.

Palmer, who will continue to report to Pret CEO Clive Schlee, says: ”I am grateful to Clive and the Pret shareholders for allowing me to pursue a portfolio career. It has been a great privilege to be Pret’s marketing director and I look forward to continuing to help the business in this new advisory capacity.”

Following his departure on 1 October, Pret’s food director Caroline Cromar will add marketing responsibilities to a new brand director role, while creative director James Cannell is promoted to the company’s operating board.

Palmer, a member of Marketing Week’s Vision 100, joined Pret as group marketing director in 2012. He is a former marketing director of Green & Black’s and was part of the management team that sold the brand to Cadbury in 2005.

Pret has enjoyed considerable success in recent years, increasing sales and profit by 13.9% and 14.5% respectively in 2015 and opening 36 new stores, its success widely attributed to an alignment with good causes, food innovation and customer conversations.

The firm opened a standalone vegetarian store – Pret’s Little Veggie Pop-up – in June after listening to customer feedback and seeing a spike in demand for vegetarian options, a move Palmer was heavily involved in.

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Pret A Manger is set to open its first standalone vegetarian store following positive feedback from customers showing an interest in cafes serving only non-meat options. Branded ‘Pret’s Little Veggie Pop-up’, the site will open in Soho in June for a month only, with Pret’s chief marketing officer Mark Palmer admitting that “more could follow”.

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