English town wins its war against chain coffee

Totnes, the English town with no chain coffee shops, has won its fight to keep Costa Coffee out of town. Although Costa was given approval to open its shop, they have voluntarily agreed not to: "Chris Rogers, managing director of Costa, said the company had 'recognised the strength of feeling' against national brands in the town."


    1. How would they bring business into town?  As I recall, the chain wanted to profit off of tourists who were already coming there by placing a huge chain location at a common entrance point for tourists, thus capturing a lot of the business that would otherwise go to locals, and also discouraging exploration into the town where existing mom and pop coffee places (and other shops) are.

      1. Sort of like London hosting the Olympics because it would be good for tourism. Because, God knows, nobody had ever heard of London or thought of traveling there before the Olympics. Which as it turned out, killed tourism for half the summer, resulting in billions in losses by small businesses.

          1. “Olympic spending” (labor/infrastructure/construction etc) vs. “tourist spending” (shopping/eating).

          2. Large corporations increased profits while restaurants and corner stores suffered, as did the people who were told not to come to work for a couple of weeks because there was no business.

      1.  I think he was saying that “the town boasts 41 independent coffee outlets”. 
        Or I don’t know either. 

  1. Do they object to the branding or to the ownership? Could Costa open a store that had a quaint, homespun brand and look but that used Costa-sourced coffee, procurement systems and operational management systems? Would a Costa by any other name smell as stinky to the good folk of Totnes?

  2. It’s a funny old solution, but Totnes is a funny old town.  Forty-one eh?  That sounds like a caffeine collecting challenge!

    (the publick art is particularly nice)

    1. ‘nimbyism’ usually implies there’s some greater good being served by the desired factory/shop/power plant etc. being put in that place, and locals object. In this case the branch of costa coffee is only relevant to those who are in the area and may go there, the most important people in that category being the locals. It’s perfectly fine for them not to want a particular coffee shop in their town as it doesn’t impact anyone else.

  3. I live in a town (Carrboro, NC) that has a lot of the same sentiment. It’s rather nice, even if they haven’t been 100% effective. There are two large chain grocery stores here, one chain drugstore, and the most ironically located Wendy’s in the western hemisphere. Other than that though, it’s crunchy, local, and thriving. And becoming accustomed to that has made templated shopping centers stuffed with national chains seem that much more jarring.

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