Bullish Costa is hot on trail of Starbucks

31 January 2005 by
Bullish Costa is hot on trail of Starbucks

Whitbread-owned coffee house chain Costa has revealed ambitious plans to become the global number two player behind US chain Starbucks.

Costa aims to grow its portfolio of 365 UK stores, including concessions and franchise operations, to 700-800 in the next five years.

It also wants to add 40 Irish stores to the Belfast outlet it opened just before Christmas, and plans to grow its portfolio in the Middle East from 75 to 300.

New markets include India, where Costa plans to open 300 outlets using a local franchise partner, with the first three opening in April, and China, where the company intends to open its first stores in September. Other targets include Spain and the USA, although the latter is "a long way off", said managing director David Hutchinson.

To supply its enlarged estate and circumvent the high import duties in India, the company will augment its south London coffee roastery with a second in India.

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