Whitbread has set its sights on opening up to 250 new coffee shops globally over the next year, chief executive Alison Brittain revealed yesterday.
The company confirmed it is lining up between 230 and 250 store launches over the next 12 months, adding to the 2,000-plus units it already operates.
Brittain also indicated that Costa would seek to take aim at the artisan market. “We are trialling new ‘finer’ coffee concepts, introducing a new fresher food range and making good progress rolling out our Costa Pronto and Drive Thru formats,” she said.
Costa sales shot up 11% during the first half of the year, including a 2% like-for-like rise in the UK.
Earlier this month Costa unveiled a a first-of-its-kind trial store in Wandsworth. The unit features a selection of alcoholic drinks to complement its food and drink range in the evenings, and will be open until 9pm during the week and 7pm on Saturdays.
It has also added a new range of coffee, including three slow drip, single origin blends from Sumatra, Kenya and Columbia, all 100% Arabica beans, and introduced an “enhanced” food menu.
Jason Cotta, managing director of Costa Coffee UK & Ireland, commented: “This is an exciting time for Costa Coffee. Since Costa was founded in 1971, it has been at the forefront of Britain’s growing love of great coffee. As core coffee options become well established favourites, we believe coffee lovers are ready for the next generation of beverages. Alongside our Mocha Italia espresso-based drinks, we are proud to launch new beans, brews and coffee experiences to our customers. The trial of the new store in Wandsworth affirms our commitment to making coffee interesting, exciting and accessible to all.”