December 10 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, September 22, 2013
A multinational coffee giant is opening in Great Yarmouth, filling a town centre shop that has been empty for almost a year.
Costa, the second largest coffeehouse chain in the world behind Starbucks and the largest in the United Kingdom, is moving into the corner unit on Theatre Lane, Regent Street - formerly the Pure Party fancy dress and before that Clinton Cards.
The franchised coffee shop is due to open mid-October and employ between eight and 10 people.
The owner was unavailable to comment despite being contacted by the Mercury, but Jenny Haylett, who has been running the independent Friends Bistro and Bar in nearby Deneside for 45 years, welcomed the competition.
She said getting more traders in the town centre can only be a good thing.
“I won’t be objecting; I think it’s a good thing. We need this in the town centre,” said Ms Haylett.
“We’ve got the banks coming in and the new pavilion. What we don’t need are more shops.”
The bistro owner believes high streets and town centres like Yarmouth need to change if they are to survive, and cafes, restaurants and other businesses will attract more people.
“Hopefully Costa will get a few people to come up this way and we’ll all benefit,” she said.
Jonathon Newman, town centre manager said Costa was a big brand and welcome addition to a very visible are of the town. Although he said he felt for the independent cafes in the town, theirs was a different food-based offer, adding: “It adds some choice to the Great Yarmouth town centre and fills a vacant shop which is important. Any new business that opens up in a town centre in this economic climate is welcome and it will bring new jobs. Costa has a market of its own within the coffee industry.”
The new coffee shop, near the side entrance of the Market Gates shopping centre, will be operated by Costa’s franchise partner ACCA Ltd.
Costa Coffee was founded in London in 1971 by Italian brothers Sergio and Bruno Costa as a wholesale business supplying specialists, but after being bought by Whitbread in 1995 it grew fast and now has 1,700 stores across 35 countries, including 1,375 stores in the UK and thousands more branded machines inside shops and other businesses.