If you’re a Costa Coffee fan, I’m afraid I’ve some bad news for you. And although you can kind of tell from the headline itself, I’m just going to reiterate it again because I’m a sadist like that:
Costa Coffee is closing down all its outlets.
And now, I know you’re really pissed that Costa shut down its outlets and stuff, but the question begets:
Why did it have to close down in the first place?
Is it because of internal problems? Power struggles? Or heavens forbid… a visit by the man, the myth, the legend… Steven Lim?
Well, apparently not. Instead, the issue’s believed to have stemmed from the one that gets them all…
The Costa Problem
Lest you’re unaware, British coffee chain Costa Coffee has closed down six outlets in the last three and a half months. And in the next fortnight, the chain will formally exit the Singapore market, with the impending closure of its two remaining branches at Holland Village (closed yesterday) and VivoCity mall.
Alas, it seems that the company had made up its mind from the very start of 2018. Responding to TODAY‘s queries on Tuesday night (4 Sep), a Costa spokesperson ascertained that the company had actually decided to pull the plug on its eight Singapore stores, at the start of this year.
The reason, although not specified, could be put down to rental costs. Costa’s employees here, when told of the store closures in Singapore, were shocked, and claimed that high rents were part of the reason.
Although to be fair, competition from specialised coffee shops was also a factor, according to barista maestro and store supervisor Ms Yana. She expressed that consumers are also increasingly going for “taste”.
Well, who wouldn’t though…
Having entered the Singaporean market in 2012, the chain had spawned eight outlets here and garnered hundreds of ardent fans.
But wait just a min…
When asked if it would make a comeback here, Costa, the world’s second-largest coffee chain after Starbucks, was coy about it.
“We are committed to remaining within the South-east Asia region and have ambitious plans to grow the Costa brand.”
Well, I guess that’s as close to yes as you can get then. Costa fans who insist on dwelling in Singapore, it looks like you might not be deprived of Costa Coffee all your life after all.
After all, see what happened to A&W?
Incidentally, beverage giant The Coca-Cola Company is ready to gain control of Costa from parent company Whitbread, after a US$5.1 billion (S$7 billion) deal was announced last week.
I don’t know about you, but US$5.1 billion seems like a lot.
Costa might have its fair share of supporters, but it seems that TODAY didn’t actually meet any of them. According to the newspaper, it approached a couple of customers, and most expressed that they “visited the chain out of convenience”, and would simply “turn to alternatives”. In fact, as Mr James Chia so cruelly puts it…
“They are no different from any other cafe.”
Incidentally, Mr Chia visits Costa’s VivoCity outlet twice monthly.
So we did our own research and ask everyone in the office. Surprisingly, no one knows about this cafe chain. But anyways.
(Article continues below) Xing Xing is a 34-year-old Singaporean lady who decides to meet up with an online friend she found in Facebook. But it turns out that he’s not what he seems to be: Prepare boxes of tissue and watch the saddest Singapore Facebook love story here:
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A dying breed
It seems that the high cost of living in Singapore truly has gotten to some establishments, as Costa Coffee’s not the only coffee chain to have closed its doors over the last couple of months. Japanese chain St Marc Cafe is another victim of the times, with two of its outlets (at Marina Square mall and VivoCity) closed around the same period.
And with independently run cafes becoming ever more popular, major cafe chains are really feeling the heat, seeing how they also have to deal with exorbitant rental and cost production prices. Indeed, it makes you wonder whether Starbucks, a coffee chain as present as McDonald’s itself, might one day find itself facing the sack…
Of coffee beans.
But anyway, don’t despair just yet Costa fans. If you really want the Costa taste…
You can just fly to Britain for a cuppa.
Splendid idea, mate. Blimey. Wonderfullllll.
But before that, you can head down to their only existing outlet. Their Holland Village outlet has closed yesterday (7 September), while their VivoCity one will close next Sunday (16 Sep).
Cos last time I checked, Vivo’s closer to you guys than Britain.
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