Coffee chain to open town branch

A NATIONAL coffee chain is opening a branch on Weston’s High Street.

Costa Coffee, which has nearly 1,200 in the UK, has confirmed that it will be taking over the former Burton menswear store.

The coffee giant already has two branches in the Weston area – one in the Sovereign Shopping Centre in town, and another in Bransby Way Retail Park in Locking Castle.

A spokesman for Costa Coffee told the Mercury: “We continue to open stores to satisfy consumer demand despite the economic downturn, providing jobs to those in the local areas.

“We can confirm that we will be opening a new Costa store in Weston.

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“We are looking to open our doors in May and we will employ around eight staff.”

Steve Townsend, town centre manager, said that although replacing a clothes store with a coffee shop is not ‘ideal’, he welcomes a national company’s interest in the town.

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He told the Mercury: “In an ideal world we would have benefited from a clothing or music retailer.

“The grim fact is though, many high streets are facing the greatest challenge for survival in history.

“Margate for example has 37.4 per cent occupancy, we have 10 per cent and we should be pleased that national brands consider our town a good place to set up shop. “With the increase of internet shopping, perhaps it’s inevitable that high streets will have more businesses offering services that cannot be delivered through the letter box.”

Burton menswear has been merged with Dorothy Perkins by their umbrella company Arcadia as part of a ‘streamlining’ and cost-cutting initiative.

Music retailer HMV, which opened in the Sovereign Shopping Centre on November 10, pulled out of the town last month as bosses said they were not sure how ‘commercially viable’ the Weston store would be following the Christmas trade.

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