23.5 Degrees opens 50th Starbucks store with plans for further expansion 

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 23.5 Degrees opens its 50th Starbucks in Hull.

Starbucks first UK franchised business partner, 23.5 Degrees, will open its 50th store on 20 June in Hull.  The business opened its first Starbucks store in Liphook, Hampshire just five years ago in February 2013.

The 50th opening is part of an ambitious expansion programme for 23.5 Degrees, with firm plans to expand further over the coming years.

23.5 Degrees managing director Mark Hepburn said: “Reaching our 50th Starbucks store in just five years is a great achievement but we’re not stopping there.  The UK coffee market is continuing to grow and with our local expertise, we hope to extend our store count considerably in the coming years.”

The business has a strong pipeline, with seven further new Starbucks stores planned to open by August 2018, and a further 20 new stores planned to open in the next 12 months.

It is actively seeking both freehold and leasehold drive thru opportunities sitting on main arterial routes, close to major retail destinations or on large industrial estates that can be designed intothree standard sized units: 1,500, 1,800 and 2,200 sq ft.

These can either be modular or traditionally built.  23.5 Degrees will also consider retail park and ‘drive to’ destinations, as well as high street units in prominent high footfall locations with a minimum size of 1500 sq ft.

Hepburn added: “We’re able to move fast on great new sites.  Our use of modular design and build enables our landlords to have our stores trading faster.”

23.5 Degrees are supported by a new funding package and further equity investment from private equity investors.

23.5 Degrees has opened 11 drive thru stores in under two years, with stores stretching from Bournemouth on the South Coast to Norwich in the East and Hartlepool in the North East of England.  While the new Hull Starbucks store is the first 23.5 Degrees store in Yorkshire, a considerable number of new stores are planned for the area across the next 18 months.

Helen Doran, director licensed operations, Starbucks UK, said: “Over the past five years we have seen 23.5 Degrees open 50 Starbucks stores that we can all be proud of. We are committed to growing our partnership together by opening stores with close links to the local community and creating spaces that are warm and welcoming for all to enjoy.”

23.5 Degrees now has more than 700 employees, having started from scratch just five years ago in 2013.  The number will more than double as the Starbucks stores currently in development are rolled out.

The company has a proven track record of developing its people. Many current managers and area managers started as baristas and have been promoted from within.  Some 70% of management have been promoted to those positions as 23.5 Degrees’ employees.

23.5 Degrees has invested more than £18 million in the UK economy to date through building and buying stores.

Mark Hepburn, has a track record of success in food service franchise businesses, including Burger King and KFC, specialising in rapidly growing businesses.  He is also supported by an experienced board who also have experience in franchising and working in accelerated growth businesses.

The new store, on Clough Road, Hull, is the first drive-thru in the city and will create 25 jobs in the local community.  The store will be open between 6am to 9pm Monday to Saturday and 7am to 9pm on Sunday.

According to consultancy firm Allegra Strategies, the UK coffee shop market will exceed 31,400 outlets with a turnover of £13bn by 2022 – up from the total of 24,061 outlets and turnover of £9.6bn in 2017.