Chain warns of subdued demand as shoppers shun high street and artisan rivals perk up
Britain’s biggest coffee shop chain, Costa Coffee, has suffered a fall in sales at its high street stores and warned consumer demand would remain “subdued”.
Costa’s owner, Whitbread, said like-for-like sales at its UK outlets had fallen 1.5% in the 13 weeks to 30 November. Costa Express machines, which are mainly in petrol stations and convenience stores, fared much better, with 6.7% underlying sales growth.
Like-for-like sales have become the benchmark in the City for judging the current performance of retailers. Typically represented as percentage growth rates, like-for-like sales measure sales at stores that have been open for at least a year, stripping out the impact of sales at newer stores. The idea is that they allow a more transparent comparison of a retailer’s sales performance over a certain period of time, when compared with the same period of time a year earlier.