• Pizza Hut UK experiments with new sales channels

LONDON -- Pizza Hut UK managing director John Derkach is positioning his company for a head-to-head battle with burger chains by entering into new sales channels.

According to the Times of London, changes under discussion include dedicated pizza sites in shopping malls and railway stations in order to boost sales to families in the afternoon daypart, and to pub patrons returning home at closing time.

Derkach plans to spend millions of pounds revamping the chain's 500 outlets across the UK.

"Restaurants and home delivery will always be the backbone, but we will experiment to see if there are other ways of selling pizzas," Derkach said. "We may need to get into delivering fast-food pizzas on a more serious basis. We would look at any number of different ways to see what works best."

Last week the company said it plans to open around 75 restaurants in 2003, and create up to 3,000 jobs.

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