Coffee shops boost UK high street economy

Figures published in a new report by industry analysts show that British high streets are enjoying significant economic and social benefits brought by the rise of branded and independent coffee shops. The report draws on research with over 2,000 consumers and local businesses.

The report demonstrates that the presence of coffee shops typically boost local high street economies by 2 to 4% through a combination of increased footfall and dwell time. Footfall studies show that branded coffee shops can increase high street footfall by up to 28%. 52% of consumers interviewed for the study are more likely to shop for longer when there are coffee shops nearby.

Coffee shops have a highly positive impact on local businesses: 58% of local businesses interviewed indicated that coffee shops attract more people to their business, an increase on 38% in 2010. 43% of local businesses were positive about the contribution of coffee shops to their individual trading.

 Key findings:

• Coffee shops create a valuable regenerative effect: 85% of local businesses interviewed agreed that coffee shops improve the viability of the local area, an increase on 76% in 2010.

 • Coffee shops play a significant role in driving high street visits: 58% of consumers surveyed had planned to visit coffee shops as part of their trip to the high street. Furthermore, 18% of consumers visited the high street primarily to go to the coffee shop.

 • Coffee shops are fundamental to the wellbeing of British high streets: 95% of consumers interviewed feel that coffee shops improve the vitality of the local area.

 • Coffee shops produce neighbourhood hubs and foster a strong sense of local community: 85% of consumers state that coffee shops have a valuable role in the local community, an increase from 77% in 2010.

The report concludes that over the new few years, coffee shops will take an expanded role in local communities and the evening economy. Branded coffee shops and artisan independents will make further efforts to strengthen links with communities with more authentic and locally relevant store designs. The report predicts more widespread partnerships between coffee shops and retail and leisure operators, which will make valuable use of both existing and vacant high street space.


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