Tesco is set to close six of its Harris + Hoole coffee shops due to poor performance at the sites in London and the home counties.
The supermarket giant, which yesterday announced it has overstated profit expectations by £250m, had promoted the upmarket brand as the answer to struggling sales in its stores.
According to reports in The Independent the sites closing include Walton-on-Thames, Hounslow and a pop up in Tesco's Highbury store. The closures will leave 41 Harris + Hoole sites.
But co-founder Nick Tolley told the newspaper that the closures were a result of natural wastage.
He said: "Like any business which has grown rapidly, some locations have performed better than others, so it makes sense for us to review those locations which have done less well, or where the lease is coming to an end."
Tesco has plans for 16 high street Harris + Hoole outlets and 32 in store sites by the end of the year.