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News - 14 August 2003
|Sofa No Good|
Brighton’s Coffee Republic Abandons the Sofa
In an effort to gain a bigger share of an already overcrowded market the smallest (and most vulnerable) of the high street coffee chains is getting rid of the “sofas and armchairs” image because customers spend too much time, and too little money, sitting in them.
Coffee Republic is re-branding its 66 outlets as Deli Republic selling Manhattan style bagels, sandwiches and, of course, coffee but the biggest change is the furniture. Hard backed chairs and tables should drive up profitability by discouraging three hours stays over one cappuccino.
A pilot store in Baker Street seems to have been successful but Brighton is a different place. With a much more relaxed atmosphere than London (including many coffee shops being used to transact business in a laid back setting) it remains to be seen whether this move will just make the sofas of Costa, Café Nero and Starbucks (to say nothing of the many independents) even more attractive.
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