Coffee shops boosting our high streets

By Lauren Houghton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Streets High street Coffee

The rise in popularity of coffee shops could increase competition for restaurants and bars
The rise in popularity of coffee shops could increase competition for restaurants and bars
Figures just released by research consultancy Allegra Strategies show that high streets throughout the UK are gaining a welcome economic and social boost from the rise in both independent and branded coffee shops setting up there. 

The Role of Coffee Shops on the High Street 2014 report takes its research from more than 2000 consumers and local businesses and shows that the presence of coffee shops on the high street tends to boost local economies by between two and four per cent, through both foot fall and dwell time.

Just over half of consumers who were interviewed in the survey stated that they were more likely to stay in an area longer when coffee shops were nearby, while footfall studies showed that branded coffee shops can cause a 28 per cent increase in footfall on high streets.

Managing director at Allegra Strategies Jeffrey Young said: “The report illustrates that coffee shops are helping high streets to evolve away from over-reliance on outdated retail models to embrace the demands of a more experience-led British consumer.  Coffee shops offer much more than just refreshment, providing a space for community events and mobile working, while boosting local employment opportunities.”

Positive impact

Local businesses reported the benefits of having coffee shops nearby, with 58 per cent saying that coffee shops attracted more people to their own businesses and 85 per cent believing the shops improved the viability of the local area.

The research also showed that coffee shops play a key role in driving visits to the high street, with 58 per cent of consumers who were surveyed saying they planned visits to coffee shops as part of their trips to the high street, and 18 per cent saying that was their main reason for going. It also showed 95 per cent of consumers believed the shops improve vitality in the local area.

Managing director of Costa Retail UK Jason Cotta said: “Coffee shops have effectively become more than just a place to enjoy a hot drink.  They play an integral role in terms of the socio and economic development of the high street; from employment opportunities to providing friendly community meeting hubs.”

Competition for restaurants and bars?

The report predicts that in the next few years coffee shops will take an even larger role in local communities and the evening economy. This could however increase competition for local restaurants and bars, as coffee shops begin to move into their domain.

Recently coffee shops have been branching out,​ offering breakfast, lunch and dinner menus to customers, as well as free WiFi and a relaxed atmosphere. This means they are cashing in on the all-day dining trend, with some even applying for alcohol licenses to expand their offering further.

Coffee has been seeing a great rise in popularity in the UK, with branded coffee sales soaring in 2013.​ This is also causing restaurants and bars to have to delve into the coffee culture​ to keep up with high consumer expectations. 

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