So Costa won the property bidding war for the old Summerfields location next to Snowhill station, Birmingham. We understand that Starbucks were also interest and as a result the price was pushed up. Why the sudden interest in this end of Colmore Row? Maybe because of the new office buildings that have gone up around Snowhill.
Can they compete with the new high quality independents that have popped up around Colmore Row, I guess they think so. Well if the little Starbucks on Colmore Row is to go by it appears that they are attracting shoppers, passerbys or those that have not yet discovered the independents. The local business people have mostly discovered the independents. The thing in the favour of the high street chains is that people are still generally lazy and will goto their closest coffee shop.
I think the biggest casulaty of Costa moving in will be the little Starbucks on Colmore Row as many of the offices will now have to walk by the Costa to get to it. The other thing that the Costa looks to have is space, which the local business people like as they can use it as a meeting space. So can Cost compete, in a word no because they still can’t deliver the quality of coffee and service that the local independents do. My advice to local people is to walk that extra few metres to find a great cup of coffee.