Pizza Express is following in the footsteps of chains like Zizzi, Frankie and Benny’s and Pizza Hut, who recently announced that 29 restaurants are set to close, with 450 jobs at risk.
Pizza Express announced that it will be closing 73 branches across the UK permanently, putting 1,100 jobs at risk.
The announcement comes after the chain's creditors approved a rescue restructure.
Pizza Express closures
Pizza Express has gained the support of the majority of its creditors to approve restructuring plans.
Pizza Express said that 89 per cent of its creditors back its Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) proposals, which also included reductions in rent.
In a statement, the chain said: “The successful vote unlocks the company's ability to actively address the challenges brought by Covid-19, securing over 9,000 jobs in the UK.
“Regrettably, the CVA proposes the closure of 73 restaurants, putting 1,100 jobs at risk.
“The directors of Pizza Express thank its creditors for their support during this period and look forward to ongoing partnership as the hospitality industry recovers to growth.”
Pizza Express, which is majority owned by Chinese firm Hony Capital, confirmed last month that it had hired advisers from Lazard to lead a sale process for the business.
Impact of Covid-19
Last month, Zoe Bowley, Pizza Express's managing director for the UK and Ireland, said: "Unfortunately, the impact of the global pandemic has meant that we have had to make some incredibly tough decisions to safeguard Pizza Express for the long term.
"Today we have confirmed that 73 of our pizzerias are proposed to close permanently."
Bowley said that, in most cases, the stores that have been selected for closure are near to another Pizza Express branch that has already reopened, or will be reopening soon.
She said: “Our focus is on our people whose jobs are impacted and we will be doing everything we can either to redeploy them or to support them in finding roles elsewhere.
“Hard as this process is, it will protect the jobs of over 9,000 of our colleagues and provide a strong footing for Pizza Express to meet future challenges and opportunities."
The full list of closures
This is the full list of the 73 branches that will close:
- Belmont Street, Aberdeen
- Three Tuns, Barnstaple
- Corporation Street, Birmingham
- Mailbox, Birmingham
- Post Office Road, Bournemouth
- Berkeley Square, Bristol
- Regent Street, Bristol
- Dalton Park
- Merry Hill, Dudley
- Holyrood, Edinburgh
- Princes Square, Glasgow
- Hatch End
- Lloyds Ave, Ipswich
- Crown Street, Leeds
- Horsforth, Leeds
- Melton Mowbray
- Hub, Milton Keynes
- New Brighton
- Isle of Wight, Newport
- South Wales, Newport
- Goosegate, Nottingham
- Oxford Castle, Oxford
- Port Solent
- St Mary’s Butts, Reading
- Devonshire St, Sheffield
- Sheffield The Moor
- Old Bank, Southport
- Whiteley Village
- Bruton Place, London
- Charlotte Street, London
- Earls Court – Earls Court Rd, London
- Fulham Palace Road, London
- Hampstead, London
- O2 Finchley, London
- Wardour Street, London
- Wapping, London