Archive for July, 2008


Coffee Republic completes contactless payments trial

Company impressed enough to consider rolling out system across its own shops and franchised network

Angelica Mari, Computing, 23 Jul 2008

Coffeeshop chain Coffee Republic is to equip all its shops with contactless payment terminals following a successful four-month trial.

The pilot was carried out at 16 outlets in Canary Wharf, Broadgate and Bluewater Shopping Mall, using Barclaycard’s business contactless technology OneTouch.

The bank is in talks with the company’s entire franchisee conglomerate to fit the terminals across their outlets in the next 12 months. The chain’s UK operations are comprised of 16 company-owned stores, 53 franchised bars and 112 concessions.

It was claimed that one in five credit card transactions at the Canary Wharf outlet were contactless by the end of the trial. On average, 100 contactless transactions were made every month during the trial, corresponding to an 18 per cent share of all credit card payments made.

Drivers behind the decision to use the technology included concerns over the speed of service and the possibility of significantly decreasing the time taken per transaction once orders have been received. It is understood that contactless payments helped relieve heavy customer flows in areas of high traffic during peak retail hours.

“We have seen an incredible appetite for the technology from our customers, in particular our Canary Wharf outlet where knowledge of contactless has proved to be very strong,” said Epos systems manager at Coffee Republic Keisha Meade.

“Customers recognise the technology, understand how to use it and are aware of its advantages such as speed and simplicity,” said Meade.

“Most of our bars only have one terminal so technology such as this can really improve throughput, which is good for business and good for customers.”


New July openings

Coffee Republic has announced the opening of two new stores this week. David Waller opened his Coffee Republic in the busy shopping street of New Road in Gravesend, Kent this weekend, and Alistair McDowall who opened his Coffee Republic in the busy banking and eaterie district of Park Row, Leeds on July 21st.




Coffee Republic chief executive steps down

July 9, 2008

Coffee Republic announced today that Steven Bartlett, the former rebel shareholder who ousted the company’s founder, Bobby Hashemi, in October 2006, is to step down as chief executive.

The coffee bar operator said that Mr Bartlett, who will become non-executive vice chairman, was leaving to “dedicate more of his time to his businesses and family in Plymouth”.

Peter Breach, executive chairman, who will assume the job until a successor is found, said that Mr Bartlett would retain his shareholding, adding: “He remains part of the team.”

Mr Breach said that his colleague would not be receiving a payoff. Asked why he was stepping down, he replied: “His expertise is the rejuvenation of businesses and retail change, and he felt he had achieved that at Coffee Republic.”

Two years ago, Mr Bartlett used his 13 per cent stake to set up a shareholder action group demanding that Mr Hashemi provide better communication with small shareholders and make changes to company strategy.

The two men became embroiled in a row and Mr Hashemi, one of the people credited with bringing American-style coffee shops to the UK, stood down ahead of a shareholder meeting to oust him.

Under Mr Bartlett and Mr Breach, who joined at the same time, the emphasis has been placed on rapid expansion through franchising, both in Britain and internationally.

The chain currently has 191 outlets, of which 10 are overseas, mostly in the Middle East. In the UK it has 16 company-owned stores, 53 franchised bars and 112 concessions that serve Coffee Republic coffee.

In a trading update, the group said it was reviewing the carrying value of about half a dozen company-owned stores that had been performing poorly.

It reported a rise in like-for-like sales of 2.5 per cent in the first three months of the financial year, down from the 4.2 per cent growth reported at the end of last year.

Mr Breach said the performance was “pretty good, given the current economic climate”, adding: “People may not be buying cars, but they still appear want to buy an affordable luxury like coffee.”