Iconic coffee chain with 1,100 branches to shut shop doors – but fans are all saying the same thing | The Sun
A MAJOR coffee chain with more than 1,100 UK branches is closing one of its shops – but fans are all saying the same thing.
Global giant Starbucks is pulling down the shutters on its coffee house in Botanic Avenue, Belfast.
The business did not reveal the exact date it will close its doors.
A spokesperson said: "We constantly review our store portfolio to ensure each of our stores contributes to a healthy business growth and can confirm that our store on Botanic Avenue is due to close in the near future."
They added: "We are grateful to our customers in the area for their loyalty and are committed to continuing to grow our business in Northern Ireland, opening four new stores in the past year."
Some residents have shared sympathy with the chain following the announcement, citing sky high rents and business rates, but others aren't so sad.
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One said: "Have Starbucks etc any need to have seven or eight shops in Belfast? I'd suggest not."
A second said: "Council should prevent so many conglomerates to allow family business to flourish."
A third added: "Coffee shops are for people with money, not for the man in the street. Very overpriced."
It's not the first Starbucks store to close in recent months.
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The chain closed its branch in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, on July 21, according to local news reports.
But it's not all bad news. In March, Starbucks announced it will open 100 new UK stores by the end of the year as part of £30million expansion plans.
The coffee chain also plans to refurbish and upgrade existing sites over the next three years.
It comes as Costa has closed nearly 10 sites already this year, including in Witney, Worcester and Nottingham.
Its coffee house in Malvern is closing within days too – November 17.
Meanwhile, Caffè Nero has pulled down the shutters on half a dozen stores this year.
However, one of the six is temporary for renovation while another is being relocated.
Among the four permanent closures is the branch in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, which shut on June 3 and shop in Witney, which closed two days later.
Meanwhile, the chain's Wigan town centre branch shut up shop on June 25.
A number of retailers have been feeling the pinch too.
High inflation since 2022 has seen shoppers' purses and wallets squeezed, meaning they're spending less.
Recent figures reveal inflation is coming down, but prices are rising faster than the Bank of England's 2% target.
Shoppers have also been turning to online retail in recent years, a trend made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.
This, combined with high energy and wage costs, has seen many retailers struggling.
Argos, Iceland and Tesco have all closed stores this year.
A number of chains have gone bust too, including Cath Kidston, Paperchase and Wilko.
Paperchase has since returned, opening concession stores in 250 Tesco stores.
Meanwhile, Wilko's brand name has lived on after CDS Superstores, which trades as The Range and Wilko, confirmed the relaunch of the chain at sites in England, Scotland, and Wales.
A number of chains have been opening branches across the UK as well, including Iceland.
Clarks has also opened eight branches across the UK this year, including in Taunton, Reigate, Manchester and London.
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Meanwhile, in July, B&M said it would open several new branches within weeks following a string of closures.
Plus, Poundland has opened dozens of new stores this year as the discounter expands its portfolio.
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