Latte sales are soaring once again in lower Manhattan as brokers, corporate lawyers, financial advisors and more finally return to Wall Street offices, according to data from cafe chain Pret A Manger.
Sales volume at Pret A Manger locations in the Wall Street-Tribeca area reached a pandemic-era high last week, according to Bloomberg, which is tracking the data amid the office reopening.
To be sure, Pret’s sales in downtown New York City are still only 45 percent of what they were before the pandemic, the data shows, but sales are up 15 percent from the week prior.
In Midtown Manhattan, where Pret A Manger has 15 stores, according to the data, sales were up 11 percent from the week prior.
Sales aren’t quite at their pandemic-era high in that part of town, but at 49 percent pre-pandemic sales, it’s near the levels reached earlier this summer.
“I think we will still see a good trend over the next month or two in New York, and my sense is that it will be slightly more of an upward trend than in London” as the UK capital reopened earlier, Pret’s CEO Pano Christou told Bloomberg.
“New York’s recovery just seems to be three to six months or so off of London,” he added.
Pret sales in London have rebounded sharply and are almost at pre-pandemic levels in most of the city, according to the data. In the London suburbs, where the chain has been expanding during the pandemic, sales volume has passed pre-pandemic levels.
At London’s theater and shopping-heavy West End, Pret’s sales are up 3 percent compared with the week prior and just 5 percent off its pre-pandemic levels.
In the banking-heavy London City area sales are at 72 percent of where they stood before the pandemic and 86 percent in the city’s train stations, according to the data.
Sales in New York City remain far below pre-pandemic levels, however the week-over-week increase suggests some economic activity coming back to the hard-hit neighborhoods.
The decision by a handful of offices in the Big Apple to stick to September return-to-office plans is likely helping.
Bank of America said it expected most employees to be back at their desks after Labor Day while Citigroup said New York-based employees must return at least twice a week starting last week.