Three Pizza Express restaurants in Scotland to close

Company shutting a total of 73 outlets across the UK as it bids to stay afloat during coronavirus pandemic.

Three Pizza Express restaurants in Scotland to close Getty Images
Pizza Express is closing restaurants across the UK.

Pizza Express has announced plans to close three of its restaurants in Scotland as it bids to stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Outlets on Aberdeen’s Belmont Street, Holyrood in Edinburgh and Princes Square in Glasgow are to shut permanently.

They are among 73 restaurants that Pizza Express is closing across the UK

The move is aimed at reducing the chain’s costs via a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which could result in around 1,100 job losses.

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.”

Ms Bowley said that in most cases, the stores selected for closure are near to another Pizza Express that has already reopened or will be reopening soon.

Pizza Express, which is majority owned by Chinese firm Hony Capital, also confirmed it had hired advisers from Lazard to lead a sale process for the business.

It said it would hold a virtual meeting for its creditors on September 4 to seek approval for the measures set out in the CVA.

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “These situations are never easy, particularly now for the retail, hospitality and leisure businesses on our high streets at the sharp end of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Property owners, however, need to take into consideration the impact on their investors, including the millions of people whose savings and pensions are invested in commercial property, as they vote on any CVA proposal.”