Starbucks opens 90th UK outlet

Company's master franchise holder, 23.5 Degrees, is keen to attract new business partners in all areas of the country.

Starbucks opens 90th UK outlet

Popular American franchise Starbucks recently opened its 90th UK store, less than 10 years after launching its first. This latest unveiling was in the north-east of England, with the company setting an ambitious target of opening 300 stores by the end of 2027.

Starbucks’ UK master franchise is held by Southampton-based business 23.5 Degrees. They launched their first outlet in Liphook, Hampshire, in February 2013, and by March of last year had celebrated No 80. The newest store is located on Bridge Street, Blaydon on Tyne, which is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead.

Mark Hepburn, the managing director of 23.5 Degrees, said: “In just over nine years we have built this company one store at a time. We could not have achieved our success without our investors, contractors and Starbucks itself. Most importantly, I’d like to thank our partners.

“These are the franchisees and their staff members who have delivered day-in, day-out, to ensure we continue to serve our customers and build the business. The new store in Blaydon is occupying an existing building, which has been repurposed for our needs. This helps to reduce our carbon footprint, as well as speeding up the planning and build process.

“We are actively seeking freehold and leasehold drive-thru opportunities, and especially on main arterial routes which are close to major retail destinations or on large industrial estates.”

23.5 Degrees promote three standard sized units (1,500, 1,800 and 2,200 sq ft) which can either be modular or traditionally built. They will also consider retail park and drive-to destinations, as well as high street units in prominent heavy footfall locations.

And Mark Hepburn had this word of encouragement for those interested in taking on a local Starbucks’ franchise: “We’re able to move fast on great new sites. Our use of modular design and build enables our landlords to have their stores trading quickly. We’re keeping our foot on the gas and plan to reach 300 stores during the next five years.

“We now have more than 1,500 partners, having started from scratch in 2013. The company has a proven track record of benefitting the careers of those who work with us. Many current managers and area managers started as baristas. More than half of the firm’s managers have been promoted to higher positions from within the business.”

23.5 Degrees has invested more than £30m in the UK economy, while the management team at HQ has a track record of success in foodservice franchises. Managing director Mark Hepburn is also the owner of 23.5 Degrees, having previously enjoyed success at management level with Burger King and KFC.

23.5 Degrees currently hold the rights to develop sites in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Hertfordshire, Essex and Dorset. In the north they hold the rights to open stores in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cumbria and Northumberland. All stores are designed using specifications developed by Starbucks.

Andy Swales
Andy Swales