Store strategy boosts Starbucks UK

Starbucks says its strategy to open stores in non-traditional locations helped boost UK performance in the last quarter, despite tough conditions on the high street.

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The news comes as the global chain reports an 8% rise in like for like sales and a 12% increase in revenue to $2.9bn (£1.8bn), for the three months to 3 July.

It reported “healthy” single digit growth in the UK despite sliding footfall, and a 5% rise in sales outside of the US for the third quarter of its financial year.

The coffee chain has taken steps to reach more UK customers by opening different kinds of stores in different locations – such as motorway service stations through its partnership with Welcome Break and smaller “speed stores”.

It says a new breakfast range, which includes a bacon sandwich, boosted morning sales by 50% in June, compared with the previous year.

Starbucks unveiled a new brand identity for its stores earlier this year and plans to refurbish 20 London sites under the new look before the 2012 Olympics.

Sales were lifted by a major advertising campaign that launched in March to drive a more emotional connection with customers.

Darcy Willson-Rymer, senior vice president and managing director for the UK & Ireland, says Starbucks is focused on finding ways to drive efficiencies across the business to protect its customers from rising prices.

Willson-Rymer will step down in September and be replaced by Kris Engskov, currently regional vice president of the company’s US Pacific Northwest region.

Starbucks has announced pans to open 800 new stores in 2012, 600 of which will be outside the UK, following a restructure of its global business into three regions to grow its brands and accelerate international growth.

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