S&N’s Espres enters coffee shops battle

Scottish & Newcastle is rolling out a chain of coffee shops to compete with Whitbread’s Costa Coffee outlets.

Scottish & Newcastle is rolling out a chain of coffee shops to

compete with Whitbread’s Costa Coffee outlets.



The new chain, called Espres, has opened two shops. Both are situated in

Edinburgh. The first opened in the Leith district, while the other has

opened this week in Lothian Road, the newly developed financial area of

the city.



Derek Wilkinson, group finance director of Scottish & Newcastle,

confirmed that the shops would be rolled out across the UK but declined

to say when this might be. ’The new shops are along the lines of other

big brand coffee houses. We see coffee as a big growth area,’ he

said.



Gourmet coffee shop chains have sprung up all over the UK, and the

sector is worth over pounds 90m annually. The market is booming, with

companies such as the Seattle Coffee Company (recently bought by

Starbucks for pounds 55m), Aroma, Coffee Republic and Cafe Nero opening

shops every week. Whitbread is in the process of refitting its Costa

Coffee chain.



- Scottish & Newcastle announced this week that profits in the Scottish

Courage beer division were down by almost 10% to pounds 104.3m over the

six months to November 1. The retail side, which includes the Rat &

Parrot and Chef & Brewer pub chains announced a 5.6% increase in

turnover to pounds 443.7m and a 12.6% rise in profits to pounds 114.7m.



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