With 57 coffee shops within a one mile radius in the Morningside area, the local community are angered by the news of Costa trying to open a branch making it the 58th coffee shop in the area.
Costa Coffee wishes to move into the current bathroom store at 14 Morningside Road – only a 10 minute walk away from the nearby branch in Bruntsfield.
‘The Caffeine Mile’, running from the bottom of Comiston Road to the Bruntsfield Hotel, has the Morningside Traders Association fighting the plan. But some have managed to remain light-hearted and have even suggested to rename Holy Corner as ‘Coffee Corner’.
The Morningside Traders Association is against the type of business rather than the chain itself. Anne Williamson, who runs Houseproud of Morningside and is chair of the traders’ group, argues: “It’s all about balance. Imagine if we had 57 banks or building societies within a one-mile range on our high street.”
There is also a fear that the independent stores that are well known in Morningside and Bruntsfield are at risk of being squeezed out by the volume of coffee stores.
Costa has been criticised in the past for being commercially aggressive; the popular chain has increased the number of shops in the UK from 158 to 1,375 over the past year. And while the rest of the UK is suffering from the recession, Costa sales have gone up 24.4 per cent – a rise that the chain attributes to the opening of new shops.
Whitbred, the global owner of several popular hotels and coffee shops, says that the additional 20 coffee shops in Scotland are creating an estimated 200 jobs.
Listen to what Brenna from Starbucks thinks:
Listen to what Rachel from Luca’s Cafe thinks: