Starbucks first UK franchisee, 23.5 Degrees, has opened its 50th coffee shop in Hull which the company says is the first drive-through outlet in the city.
Mark Hepburn, managing director of 23.5 Degrees, said: “Reaching our 50th Starbucks store in just five years is a great achievement but we’re not stopping there. The UK coffee market is continuing to grow and with our local expertise, we hope to extend our store count considerably in the coming years.”
The opening of the Hull store is part of its ambitious expansion programme, which includes seven new stores scheduled to open by August this year and a further 20 stores planned in the next 12 months.
The company says it is actively seeking drive-through opportunities on main arterial routes, close to major retail destinations or on large industrial estates that can be modular or traditionally built. It will also consider retail parks, ‘drive to’ destinations and high street units with high footfall.
Hepburn added: “We’re able to move fast on great new sites. Our use of modular design and build enables our landlords to have our stores trading faster.
Helen Doran, director licensed operations at Starbucks UK, said: “Over the past five years we have seen 23.5 Degrees open 50 Starbucks stores that we can all be proud of. We are committed to growing our partnership together by opening stores with close links to the local community and creating spaces that are warm and welcoming for all to enjoy.”
The Hull store has created 25 jobs that now see 23.5 Degrees employing over 700 people. The company says it has a track record of developing its employees and that 70 per cent have been promoted within the company to management positions.
23.5 Degrees adds that it has invested more than £18m in the UK economy to date through building and buying stores, and is supported by a new funding package and investment from private equity investors.