Coffee Shops Outside of the Highstreet; “Location Location Location”?




Walk down any highstreet in the UK; stop, throw a stone and you're likely to hit a Coffee Shop. Consumers are demanding coffee and the highstreet is the prime location to access these coffee crazy consumers. But what about outside of the highstreet? What factors must be considered when choosing the perfect 'off-highstreet' location for a profitable retail coffee shop?


Helen Mills, Associate Director at Pragma, suggests that coffee is a convenience based product, therefore location will always play a role in buyer decision making. Simply put if you have access to high footfall sites, unsurprisingly you are likely to be profitable.


Across all demographics the UK consumer increasingly appreciates a quality cup of coffee. However certain demographics are more likely to pay a premium price for quality coffee than others. Locations that have access to consumers that are working or traveling are able to retain a higher selling price.

Outside of the highstreet captive audiences offer high profits. Locations such as Hospitals, Universities and Travel/Tourism sites offer large footfalls with little competition. Coffee forms a secondary focus to captive audience sites. Unlike on the highstreet, consumers are not primarily visiting the site in order to purchase great coffee, therefore convenience is key.

Does this mean that opening a coffee shop in a high footfall sites such as a University, Hospital or Train Station will guarantee high profits?

The short answer is no. A top location is a great start but there are a few key success factors to take note of in order to make the most out of captive audiences:

1. Great interior design
All coffee shops supply beverages, some provide well designed spaces, but very few offer their consumers an environment that they can attach to. Creating an intimate space not only offers customers a place to recuperate, it could also have a positive effect on their mental health.

2. Exceptional coffee
The future coffee shop marketplace will be shaped by further increasing consumer participation and more savvy consumers, with the desire for premium quality coffee anywhere and anytime, driving improved coffee offers across a broader set of channels.

3. Quality customer service
Personable, friendly and caring. Offering great service is the key for improving repeat purchase. Recruitment and staff training are key for a quality consumer focused service.

4. Customer engagement
The UK consumer increasingly appreciates a quality cup of coffee. Delivering innovation and fantastic quality while genuinely engaging with customers is the only way to stay ahead of the curve. Using direct contact and engaging touchpoints improve long term customer relationships.

5. Appealing promotions
Seasonal promotions and guest coffee brands are a great way of enticing customers to increase average spends, while loyalty schemes improve loyalty and repeat purchase.

Location is key for success, however access to footfall alone does not ensure long term profitability. Market research, Trends Analysis and Industry Experience are key for maximising the full potential of a high footfall site.