Friday, May 6, 2016

News: Costa planning to open in Rotherham town centre

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One of the perks for visitors and workers in Rotherham town centre is that they can get away from the daily grind in one of the many independent caf├ęs and coffee shops, and now big name coffee brand, Costa is set to be added to the blend.

National chains have so far shunned the borough's town centre but now a branch of "The Nation's Favourite Coffee Shop" is on the menu.

A planning application has been submitted that would enable Costa to take on the empty unit on Corporation Street overlooking the redeveloped Minster Gardens that was vacated by fast food chain KFC last year.

Now part of Whitbread plc, Costa was founded in London in 1971 by Italian brothers, Sergio and Bruno. With over 2,000 coffee shops in the UK and more than 1,240 in 31 overseas markets, Costa has diversified into both the at-home and gourmet self-serve markets. There are now more than 4,275 Costa Express self-serve machines in the UK.

In the UK, Costa employs over 16,000 people and creates around 1,500 jobs each year. It is the fastest growing coffee shop business in the UK and is aiming to create 5,000 new UK jobs by 2020. It already operates in Rotherham at Parkgate Shopping and the Waterfront development in Manvers.

Costa's turnover grew by 15.9% to £1.1 billion for the year to March 3 2016. Underlying operating profit was up 15.8% to £153.5m.

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The company said in a statement: "Over the past two decades the UK coffee shop market has seen unprecedented growth and, according to coffee experts Allegra Strategies, UK branded chains' outlets have grown at around 6% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) over 2008-2014, with further growth expected over the next few years. Nevertheless, UK coffee consumption remains relatively low in comparison to many other developed countries.

"While coffee venues continue to act as social and community hubs, customers' demands are evolving. Convenience and coffee quality remain essential but customers are becoming more sophisticated with fresher food, faster service, better loyalty schemes and a greater digital experience becoming increasingly important to drive customer satisfaction and grow revenue.

"As the UK's favourite coffee shop, Costa is well placed to capitalise on future market opportunities."

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Costa operates a franchise model and the plans for the signage for the new Rotherham venture have been submitted by the QFM Group. The Sheffield firm successfully operate franchises for KFC, Costa and Taco Bell across Yorkshire, the North of England and Scotland. It is behind the KFC outlets at Manvers and Canklow and the planned development at Eastwood which is set to include a Costa and KFC alongside the Toby Carvery pub which opened last year.

Corporation Street has seen a reduced footfall since the relocation of Tesco across town from Forge Island.

Another closure saw NatWest vacate the prominent stone building at the top of the street but in the Old Market building next door, the UK's largest and most competitively priced bridal retailer, WED2B took the whole of the ground floor to open an outlet in 2015.

Costa website
QFM Group website

Images: Whitbread plc

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