THE Gunwharf branch of Starbucks closed yesterday after 10 years of trading.
Management at the outlet centre decided not to allow the coffee chain to renew its lease after deciding a clothing retailer would fit best in Starbucks’ location.
But Peter Emery, Gunwharf centre director, said negotiations were continuing with Starbucks to find an alternative home.
It is believed that the coffee shop could be moved nearer the other food and drink outlets in the shopping development, rather than among the fashion stores.
Staff were told just before Christmas that the shop would be closing in January.
A spokeswoman for Starbucks said yesterday: ‘Starbucks at Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, is closing today due to an expired lease without the option to renew at this location.
‘We’ve worked closely with our partners (employees) and have been able to redeploy the majority of them to other Starbucks stores.’
It is thought that around two-thirds of the workforce have found work in other outlets.
The only other Starbucks outlet in Portsmouth is the one in Cascades shopping centre.
It is not known whether those staff will be recalled, or whether the staff laid off by the closure will be given jobs should a new outlet open elsewhere in Gunwharf.
Mr Emery said: ‘We are currently in negotiations with Starbucks so it would be premature to suggest that it is leaving Gunwharf Quays.
‘The unit occupied by Starbucks will be reverting back to a retail outlet to complement the existing mix of stores in that area of the site. We strive to maintain strong relationships with our tenants and aim to keep up with the demand of shoppers by continuing to update our retail and leisure offering.’