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Loungers reaches 150 sites as property market opens up

Molo Lounge, Southend-on-Sea

Loungers said it is seeing some “exciting” opportunities in the UK real estate market as it prepares to open its 150th site today.

As one of the UK’s few expanding hospitality businesses, the neighbourhood café-bar group regards itself as being in a strong position to take advantage of some of the turmoil that has faced the casual dining scene.

The landmark 150th site, in Wells, Somerset, is branded ‘Fosso Lounge’, and takes its portfolio to 125 Lounges and 25 Cosy Clubs.

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Since the beginning of the 2019 calendar year, Loungers has opened 11 new sites across a wide range of locations in Bangor, Manchester, Sheffield, Aylesbury, Street, Southsea and Barnsley, together with new Cosy Clubs in Norwich and Portsmouth.

The group’s 25th Cosy Club opened yesterday in Cardiff Bay, the second Cosy Club in Wales’ capital city.

Nick Collins, chief executive of Loungers, said: “Reaching our 150th site is an exciting milestone in the Loungers’ journey as we progress our expansion plans for at least 400 Lounges and 100 Cosy Clubs nationwide. Whilst 150 sites represent a sizeable business, the focus on evolution of design, menu development, operational detail, our people and their communities has never been stronger.

“Wells in Somerset is a fitting location for our 150th site in taking us back to our roots in the West Country. Likewise, our 25th Cosy Club in Cardiff Bay further consolidates our strong presence in Wales and is particularly exciting as it is the first time we have opened two Cosy Clubs in one city. We continue to be impressed with the broad demographic appeal of both brands, further underpinning our conviction in the potential scale of the business.”

Loungers said its pipeline for new sites remains “well-advanced”, with the group on track to open 25 stores (comprising approximately 20 Lounges and five Cosy Clubs) in its financial year to 19 April 2020.

Its upcoming opening schedule includes Lounge café-bars in Abergavenny, Kings Lynn, Lakeside, Huntingdon and Newbury.

The group is also due to open Cosy Clubs in Durham and Plymouth as it expands its geographic footprint nationwide.

Each new site creates around 30 new jobs, representing around 750 new jobs at the business this year alone.

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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