“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. In most cases, there is another PizzaExpress nearby, either already open or reopening soon, to welcome our customers.
“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 restaurant chain has 454 branches in the UK with roughly 150 more outlets worldwide.
On August 4, the company announced plans to cut its UK estate and rental costs by using a company voluntary arrangement.
The decision was made as the estate had been declining for the last three years.
The Pizza Express statement explained the company was performing well earlier this year, however it has been impacted by the coronavirus lockdown.
Chief Executive of British Property Federation Melanie Leech added: “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.
“Pizza Express and Deloitte engaged with the BPF before launching this CVA proposal.
“This has provided us an opportunity to improve understanding of property owners’ interests and concerns, but ultimately it will be for individual property owners to decide how they will vote on the CVA.”