Nespresso to open first UK cafe in London
Coffee capsules brand launched first cafe in Vienna last April and will open second near Bank of England in summer
Nespresso, the coffee capsules brand promoted by George Clooney, is to open its first UK cafe in London this summer.
The Swiss subsidiary of the world’s largest food company, Nestlé, is to launch the Café Nespresso coffee shop in the new 100 Cheapside development near the Bank of England in late June or July.
The London pilot follows the opening of its first cafe in Vienna – initially a pilot but now permanent – last April. If successful, Nespresso said it would consider rolling out the concept to other UK cities.
As with the outlet in Vienna, it will offer customers an extensive range of coffee – made from capsules – and “premium” food to pair with coffee.
The move comes as the world’s top coffee brands slug it out to attract customers with “enhanced coffee experiences”. Nespresso aficionados are encouraged to become members of its club.
The company is also expanding its retail boutiques – Apple-style showrooms where shoppers can sample the range of coffees, speak to experts and purchase machines and accessories. There are now thirteen Nespresso boutiques in the UK and Ireland; the latest opening at Westfield London, Bluewater shopping centre and Brent Cross in London, and in Limerick in Ireland, just before Christmas 2015.
Unlike the latest venture from Starbucks – a “coffee theatre” taking on homegrown coffee shops offering speciality brewing methods, craft beer and fresh food in a new outlet in central London – the Nespresso cafe will not serve alcohol.
“Café Nespresso is our latest innovation in the retail and service arena,” said Francisco Nogueira, general manager of Nespresso UK & Ireland. “As we have seen through the expansion of our boutique offer, there is a great deal of demand from UK customers for our range outside of the home. Café Nespresso is the next step in our customer experience.”
But some consumers have complained on social media that they did not want to “pay through the nose” to buy capsule coffee in a cafe that they could make at home.
Nespresso, which founded the capsule method of making Italian-style espresso coffee 30 years ago – and launched it in the UK 10 years later – has also this month launched its first internet-connected coffee machine.
Designed to “suit increasingly connected lifestyles”, the Prodigio will allow owners to instruct their machines to brew a cup of coffee to be ready as they wake up – a modern version of the old-fashioned teasmades. It uses Bluetooth to connect with an app to allow users to choose from a selection of coffees and brewing techniques – and order new supplies – and is already on sale atDebenhams and John Lewis.
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