Pizza Express Kent restaurants at risk amid plans 'to close 75 stores'

Pizza Express is remaining tight-lipped over reports it is set to close around 75 of its restaurants as a result of the pandemic.

The chain, which has outlets across Kent including in Whitstable , Ashford, Maidstone, Thanet, Bluewater, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks, as well as in Bromley and Sidcup, is thought to be preparing the move as part of a "financial restructuring".

Pizza Express is said to be considering a host of store closures
Pizza Express is said to be considering a host of store closures

Discussions over which restaurants will close are due to take place over the coming days as negotiations with landlords take place.

It is understood the final number of its 490 UK and Ireland restaurants under threat of closure will depend on these talks as part of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

That is a deal which is struck with creditors which sees payment terms extended or reduced.

A spokesman refused to comment when contacted by KentOnline.

Pizza Express is thought to employ around 8,000 people in the UK.

Pizza Express in Tonbridge High Street
Pizza Express in Tonbridge High Street

It has been hit hard by the closure of its outlets as a result of the lockdown and had been struggling before the current health crisis.

It announced the start of a phased reopening of its restaurants as restrictions were eased at the start of the month.

The chain – founded in 1965 – was bought by Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital for £900million in 2014.

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