a new branch every 2 weeks??!!

topher

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Aug 14, 2003
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Starbucks to open new branch every fortnight for the next decade
Last updated at 15:47pm on 15th January 2007

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Starbucks is to open new coffee shops in London at the rate of one a fortnight for the next decade.

The firm has outlined a relentless expansion plan, and says it can foresee no limit to the number of branches in and around the capital.

Phil Broad, the firm's managing director for Britain and Ireland, said: “We don't think we’ve reached saturation point and we certainly don’t see London as finished yet.”

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The news has horrified campaigners who fear the spread of chain stores is ruining the individuality of London's high streets by turning them into “clone towns” with identical shops.

The first London Starbucks opened its doors on the King's Road, Chelsea, nine years ago.

There are now 256 branches located within the M25, out of a UK total of 530.

The US company's British sales for 2005 were £244 million, up 20 per cent.

Mr Broad, 44, insisted: “There is space for us and independents in the same high streets, we are not in the business of coming in and driving up rents.”

He said 20 per cent of all independent coffee shops in Britain were started less than a year ago, showing that it was easy for them for get established even with Starbucks dominating the market.

He said that for “the foreseeable future” 50 Starbucks branches will open each year, of which typically 20 to 25 will be in the South-East.

He said the company receives many approaches from communities asking them to open locally, and rejected claims that the Seattle-based multinational ruins neighbourhoods.

“When we opened in Lamb's Conduit Street initially there was opposition, but we are now an accepted part of the community. We are often open when other coffee shops aren't.”

In poorer areas, the opening of a Starbucks often acts as a “vote of confidence” encouraging other businesses to follow suit, he added.

But the claims were disputed by campaigners against identikit high streets.

Andrew Simms, policy director of the think tank, the New Economics Foundation, said: “Starbucks on-the-ground techniques push the cloning of the high street and lead to the closure of genuinely local coffee shops.”

Big-brand coffee chain UK sales are set to hit £1.4 billion by the end of next year.

Last year about 100 new Costa Coffee and 45 Caffè Nero branches opened
 
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