COSTA COFFEE owned by the Coca-Cola group is the most popular of the coffee café brands in the UK but it is suffering and is considering shedding around 1,650 jobs from its 2,700 stores of which 1,100 are franchises.
The company closed almost all of its outlets for six weeks during the lockdown and so far, 300 remain closed but with the downturn in footfall caused by fewer shoppers and office workers, takings are definitely down.
Throughout the pandemic, Costa has taken action to provide, where possible, financial support and to look after employee and while stores were closed, all team members were put on the furlough scheme provided by the Government, with their salary topped up by Costa to 100 per cent for 12 weeks.
It agrees that trade is returning, helped by the Government’s VAT reduction, which Costa passed on to customers in full, and the recent “Eat Out To Help Out” Scheme, but there remain high levels of uncertainty as to when trade will recover to pre-COVID levels.
Costa claims that it has made significant investments in safely accelerating the re-opening of stores, ensuring they are safe for customers and team members and made the difficult decision to freeze all pay increases within the Support Centre and cut all non-essential expenditure.
Managing Director Neil Lake said following the announcement, “Today’s announcement to our store teams was an extremely difficult decision to make. Our baristas are the heart of the Costa business and I am truly sorry that many now face uncertainty following today’s news.”