Costa ‘returns to its roots’ with concept store as it promises more innovation

Costa is launching its first food-led concept store ‘Costa Fresco’ in London, presenting customers with a range of fresh food including hand-crafted pastries and quiches, in a bid to expand its offering and shake up the in-store experience.

The coffee chain’s global brand and innovation director Carol Welch said the store was developed in response to “customer demand” for an increased range of food that would complement its coffee.

“What we’re really trying to do is provide extensive food ranges around breakfast and lunchtime when consumers would usually come in for coffee as well,” Welch told Marketing Week.

“Fresco complements our coffee shop by having an in-store experience that delivers a much bigger handcrafted food offer and takes Anglo-Italian bakery as a theme.”

Welch said the brand has attempted to root Costa Fresco in its heritage. When Sergio and Bruno Costa opened their first store in London more than 40 years ago, they offered their customers freshly baked pastries each morning with their Mocha Italia blend, which Costa still serves today.

“We have taken that inspiration for quality coffee and baking and are now delivering that through baked products. This makes it very unique and specific to Costa,” she explained.

To promote the new store, which was created by Our Design Agency and is situated on Tottenham Court Road, Costa will be using in-store communications, sampling and digital signs as people enter or leave Tottenham Court Road tube station.

While Welch said the brand is currently focusing on trialling out the concept store, expansion could be possible in future. Over the next year, the brand is hoping to roll out even more innovations.

She explained: “At the moment, we are very much focusing on this as a concept store. It is something we believe we can do very effectively, and we think that there is a significant opportunity for expansion. But we need to make sure we get it right here first.

“We have a lot of exciting plans specifically looking at different things our customers have spoken to us about. It’s the start of a lot of exiting things you’ll see from us.”

Carol Welch, global brand and innovation director, Costa

Costa isn’t the only brand to launch concept stores. Starbucks opened an experiential store in London that brings together the brand’s newest tech developments and a bespoke coffee offering, as well as an evening menu with beer and wine.

Meanwhile, Pret A Manger introduced a trial for a fine dining evening concept at its Strand-based shop in London, with the chain selling everything from beers to meat balls and changing its service from 6pm to 11pm to include menus, crockery and jazz music, in a bid to take night trade from bars and restaurants.

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  • Rory McEntee 13 Dec 2015 at 4:51 pm

    The concept is sound but is let down by a confused customer journey in store with staff a bit unsure how to operate the offering. A bit muddled right now but Its got great potential if they can iron out operations.

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