When this puppet was but a mere piece of wood, there was an ad on the tele with Yul Brynner. I clearly remember it (with a little help from our friend You Tube). All distorted video (American NTSC converted to PAL) that seemed to heighten the fact that he was dead, it had been taken from a US interview. It was an anti-smoking ad.
His enigmatic words are still with me today. “Whatever you do, please don’t smoke.” He was the King of Siam after all. What he says goes!
Perhaps it’s a crude analogy but I am reminded of this when I walk down today’s high street. Those words! “Whatever you do, please don’t Pret.” Because it is like a disease, the way that Pret spreads throughout the land and, just like a disease, it can be cured. We can say no.
Some might think Pret is doing us a favour in providing jobs for the young. To me, they are stifling opportunities. With a business case that must have been copied directly from the book of Starbucks, here is a company that does indeed provide jobs but only because it wants to make a profit and more. By taking each and every available retail space in London, they are in fact forcing rental prices up and out of the reach of smaller operations – in fact any operation. In the end, everyone suffers. They must think we’re fools – in some London areas (ie try Southwark, Holborn, Covent Garden) you can see three of them within eyeshot.
So, whatever you do, please don’t Pret.