Trader to ‘embrace’ rivalry of Starbucks

RIVALRY from one of the world’s biggest coffee shop brands would be enough to strike fear into many an independent café owner.

But for Cappuchinos owner Mike Hall, who is facing this scenario, his message is not one of fear, but confidence.

The Broadwater Street West trader believes his customers will stay loyal to his shop, should Starbucks move in a few doors down, as planned.

“There might be a dip in trade in the first month, as everyone likes something new but I think the regulars I have are good and loyal and like what they get,” he said.

“There’s no point moaning about it. It is happening, so you’ve just got to embrace it and get on with it.

“People moan about Tesco but still shop there, and I am the same.”

Mr Hall’s shop is one of two independent coffee shops in Broadwater, with the other, Muldoons, last week expressing concern at the planned new addition.

Mr Hall believes the student market may be the attraction – a customer base not routinely seen in his shop.

He said: “I don’t see many students but quite a few of the teachers. They can go to Tesco and get a meal deal for a couple of pounds and I could never compete with that.

“I am quite surprised that it is coming here. I’m not sure why.

“They will have a lot of overheads so I think the town centre would have made more sense.”

Fellow Broadwater trader Ian Hart, of Ian Hart Funeral Service, said he sympathised with the small traders and questioned whether the area needed another coffee shop.

He said: “I am a person who needs a cup of coffee to start the morning but we have more than enough places to get one.

“I would have liked a Chinese or Italian restaurant to bring people into Broadwater.

“Competition is healthy but saturation can be counter-productive.”

The franchise, which is seeking to open between 7am and 11pm, has also received a mixed reaction from councillors and business figures, with Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce CEO Tina Tilley offering her help to the independents.