Big news has emerged in the world of coffee shops, with Costa making the announcement that it's set to pilot several concessions in UK Debenhams locations, as part of a new partnership with the department store brand.
The first of the trial coffee shops opened today, June 25th, in Debenhams Guildford, and five more will follow as part of the pilot.
These will be in Slough (where the concession is also opening this month), as well as Exeter, Derby, Woking and Haverfordwest (where concessions will be opening next month).
"We see this as a mutually beneficial partnership; bringing together the nation’s favourite coffee shop brand with one of the UK’s leading department stores, allowing both brands to strengthen customer experience and further drive sales," commented Costa's UK head of acquisitions, James Hamilton.
Debenhams already has cafe and restaurant spaces in its stores, which the Costa concessions will complement. During research, Debenhams customers have made requests to see the Costa brand in store.
The retail brand, which sells the likes of clothes and kitchenware, is still going to invest in its own hospitality offerings, and has recently unveiled a £25 million refurbishment to the Debenhams store on London's Oxford Street, which now includes four food services.
"Growing our food hospitality business is an important part of our strategy to improve the return on our UK stores through a wider choice of products and brands. Partnering with Costa will only enhance our appeal," said Debenhams director of food services, John Baker.
He explained that there are hospitality venues in almost every Debenhams store.
Working alongside other providers gives the brand a great chance to create an extra offering, with Costa's strong brand, appeal with customers, and coffee heritage providing "a good strategic fit" for Debenhams, he added.
More than 11,000 people work in hospitality jobs for Costa, and the brand is creating close to 1,500 jobs in the UK this year alone, and more than 4,500 during the coming three years.
It already has concessions in a variety of big-names stores, such as Waterstones bookshops.