Another independent coffee/cafe closed its doors this week: “The 90 Day Cafe”. It opened in Sept 2010 so lasted a year, which was much longer than the 90 days they had set out to achieve. My understanding is they have decided to go back to University rather than continue but it’s also probably a reflection of how well it was doing. It’s great to see independents in the market and we need many more of them but we do need them to survive.
In a recent poll ‘Location’ was still the most important thing for a coffee shop to be successful but high footfall locations don’t always guarantee good business. The Great Western Arcade where the 90 Day Cafe were based has amazing footfall and a simple count could fool you into thinking it was a good location. The question you have to ask is why is this a high footfall location? Answer: because it’s a cut-through between two areas (Snow Hill station/Colmore Row & the shopping areas) – not because of the shops in the Western Arcade. The turnover of retail space in this area is very high, and that should ring alarm bells for anyone looking for a place. That’s not to say it’s impossible to make it work – it’s just very hard.
So the saying “Location, Location, Location” is very true. I would add, “At the right price”.