High-street refreshment outlets are not being left out in the drive to widen their appeal to the public
Costa Coffee is selling alcohol in a new pilot format with interiors by London design firm Edge. In the 84 sq m trial store in Wandsworth, half the space is given over to a lounge area, which is separated into two main zones, says Edge director Michael Fern. A mid-paced zone is furnished with a tan leather banquette and black-stained spindle chairs with tan seat pads. The second ‘coffee conversation’ zone has cocktail chairs finished in Sunbury Fabrics. All the furniture is by Warings, and Northern Lights is responsible for the lighting.
The Costa Coffee House is now a game of two halves: one space is a lounge area, again in two zones of different paces, all with interiors by Edge
Called Costa Coffee House, the aim is to widen the brand’s appeal to its existing customer base. ‘Research showed that customers in store around closing time were open to extending the hours, and the inclusion of small plates of food and wine by the glass,’ says Fern. ‘The coffee-shop environment is more neutral and safer than a pub or bar so was attracting a wide mix of customer.’
Costa Coffee, founded in 1971 and owned by Whitbread, has more than 2,000 outlets in the UK. Cushman Wakefield says that some segments within the leisure sector have performed better than others between January 2014 and January 2017. The strongest increase in units has been in cafes (+1,527), fast food and take away (+1,035) and restaurants (+897), while public houses have seen a well-documented decrease in numbers, falling by 319 units during this period.