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Pandemic! What pandemic!

Written by Andy Swales on Wednesday, 31 March 2021. Posted in Franchise

23.5 Degrees is one of the most ambitious franchise companies in the UK, and remains on course to open its 100th Starbucks store by the end of 2022.

Pandemic! What pandemic!

23.5 Degrees is one of the most ambitious franchise companies in the UK, and remains on course to open its 100th Starbucks store by the end of 2022.

There’s no holding back 23.5 Degrees, or so it seems. The Southampton-based company became the first UK business partner of American-owned franchise Starbucks, launching its first outlet in February 2013. Fast forward eight years, and 23.5 Degrees recently celebrated its 80th and newest store in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, which opened on March 26th.

As part of an ambitious expansion programme, 23.5 Degrees are hoping to reach 300 stores by the end of 2027. Despite the pandemic, 23.5 Degrees unveiled seven drive-thru outlets during 2020, stretching from Canvey Island in Essex to Peterlee in County Durham. And they hope to notch up store No 100 by March of next year.

Managing Director of 23.5 Degrees, Mark Hepburn, said: “The last year has been challenging but by opening this latest Starbucks store in King’s Lynn, it demonstrates our commitment to expanding the business over the next decade. 

“We could not have achieved our success without our investors, contractors and Starbucks itself. Most importantly, I’d like to thank our partners who have delivered day-in, day-out, to ensure we continue to serve our customers and build the business. We’ve come a long way since opening our first store in Liphook, Hampshire, a little over eight years ago.”

And 23.5 Degrees continue to keep their eyes firmly on the ball. The company is actively seeking both freehold and leasehold opportunities. Popular spots would be on main arterial transport routes, close to major retail destinations or perhaps on large industrial estates. They will also consider retail-park and drive-to destinations, as well as high street units in areas of high footfall.

As for new venues, 23.5 Degrees offer budding franchisees three standard sized units to choose from: 1,500, 1,800 and 2,200 SqFt. This is often governed by available space, and can be built using traditional methods or by using a modular format.

Mark Hepburn added: “We’re able to move fast on great new sites. Our use of modular design enables landlords to have stores trading faster. We’re keeping our foot on the gas and plan to reach 300 stores over the next six years.” 

23.5 Degrees has already invested more than £28m in the UK economy through building and buying stores. They currently employ over 1,300 men and women, providing full-time employment for many people across the nation.

One example of this concerns their newest outlet in Hardwick Road, King’s Lynn, which became the first Starbucks Drive Thru in this west Norfolk market town, creating 25 jobs for the local community. The store opens between 6am and 9pm, Monday to Sunday.

About 23.5 Degrees: Is owned and run by Mark Hepburn who has a track record of success in food service franchise businesses. These include Burger King and KFC. 23.5 Degrees currently hold the rights to develop in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Hertfordshire, Essex and Dorset – in the south of England – as well as Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cumbria and Northumberland in the north. All stores are designed by Starbucks.

About the Author

Andy Swales

A dedicated journalist for three decades, Andy has spent much of this time working for ITN, Sky Sports and Today’s Golfer magazine, after starting out years back at the Hackney Gazette. Since leaving Sky Sports in 2018, has spread his wings into other areas and loves writing about property and the nations rising stars in the SME business world and franchise community.

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