Southern Co-op expands its coffee shop portfolio and buys 12 Starbucks including ones in Portsmouth and Whiteley

NEARLY 50 coffee shops will now be run by the Southern Co-op, as it expands its coffee franchise across the south.

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 4:20 pm
Shops in Whiteley Shopping Centre reopened on Monday, June 15, with safety measures in place under the most recent guidelines during the Covid-19 pandemic. Pictured is: Starbucks barista Dom Court welcomes back customers to Starbucks in Whiteley Shopping Centre, who were the first coffee shop to open at the site for takeaway services. Picture: Sarah Standing (160620-46)

The Southern Co-op, which has its head office at Lakeside, North Harbour, Portsmouth, has acquired 12 stores from Amsric Limited.

The coffee shops, which currently operate as Starbucks and will stay as Starbucks under their new ownership, will take Southern Co-op’s coffee brand Cobra Coffee’s total up to 47.

Stores include the ones at Cascades Shopping Centre in Portsmouth and Whiteley Shopping Centre and all 120 colleagues have also transferred across.

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As part of the acquisition, the regional co-operative is also planning to open two new stores in Plymouth and Bognor Regis in the coming months.

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Gwyn Kennett, head of operations at Cobra Coffee, said: ‘This acquisition has allowed us to continue expanding in the south west and growing our family in more communities.

‘It's important to us that each store is a part of the local community with space for people to socialise, as well as providing employment to local residents.

‘We are hoping this growth can continue in the years ahead and we would welcome further investment opportunities across the south of England.’

Cobra Coffee started in 2013 and operates as a Starbucks UK franchised business partner. It grew its store portfolio from 19 to 30 during 2020 and has opened five new stores in 2021, in addition to this acquisition.

Franchise hospitality deal management experts Smith Cooper Corporate Finance, managed the acquisition on behalf of Amsric including marketing the company, negotiating terms, and managing/advising on the sale process.

Ragin Patel, director of Amsric Holdings, said: ‘We leave the Starbucks community with some sadness but are pleased to have found a great partner in Cobra - which we are confident will take the business forward and, with the co-operative's strong people-centric, ethical and community values, our dedicated and committed Amsric team will also benefit.’

Amsric Limited stores now operated by Cobra Coffee include: Fraddon Kingsley Village, Yeovil Babylon Hill, Truro Chiverton Cross, Truro Victoria Square, Plymouth Drake Circus, Exeter High Street, Bideford Atlantic Village, Exeter Alphington Road, Drive Thru Torquay, Whiteley Shopping Centre, Portsmouth The Cascades Shopping Centre and Southampton Above Bar Street,

Other stores, which are a combination of high street, drive-thru and drive-to locations, are based in Brighton, Crawley, Hove, Worthing, Dorking, Horsham, Reigate, Wokingham, Ashford, Canterbury, Eastbourne, Folkestone, Isle of Sheppey, Maidstone, Strood, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Bath, Bristol, Southampton, and Bournemouth.