UK sees 15% rise in the number of independent coffee shops, CloudZync reports

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The UK’s independent coffee shop and café industry has seen a 15% rise in new businesses opening over the last two years, according to figures released by CloudZync, creator of smart mobile wallet, Zwallet. 

The research, which has been released in conjunction with the launch of CloudZync’s Coffee Shop UK website, a site designed to champion the UK’s independent cafés and coffee shops, also reveals 14% of people visit independent coffee shops more than they did a year ago.

One in five (21%) prefer to visit independent coffee shops over big chains, with Northern Ireland leading the way with almost a third of consumers (31%) avoiding the chains. The survey, which polled the views of 2000 consumers across the UK, revealed the main reason why people prefer to visit independent coffee shops is because they want to feel like they are helping their local community (22%), followed by wanting to support British business (15%) and because they feel that independent stores treat them ‘more like an individual’ (15%).

While men and women agree that they like to visit independent coffee shops so they can support their local community (18% and 26% respectively), after this women prefer to go to independent shops for the personal service (16%), compared to men who go for the free Wi-Fi (16%). 

London leads the way in the total number of independent coffee shops and cafés, but outside of the capital the UK’s coffee capital is Glasgow. 

Fig. 1 – Top UK cities according to number of independent coffee shops and cafés (Source: Companies House, August 2013)

Rank

City

1

London

2

Glasgow

3

Liverpool

4

Manchester

5

Edinburgh

6

Birmingham

The research follows the launch of CloudZync’s mobile wallet, Zwallet, which allows people to integrate all of their existing loyalty cards straight into one app, redeem points, gain exclusive cashback offers, and pay for their favourite coffee or other items their phones. 

The Companies House data also reveals that not only is coffee consumption booming, but the UK also has 106 businesses that are dedicated to producing and processing coffee or tea, and one in 10 (9%) consumers saying that they would be more likely to buy coffee or tea if they knew it had been produced in the UK. 

Interestingly, the data highlights there are 33 ‘community owned’ coffee shops and cafes that have launched in the UK since 2006. Consumer desire to support local business is also reflected in the data, as over one in six people (16%) said that they would also be more likely to visit a community-owned coffee shop if they had one in their local area.

Andrew Smith, co-founder and CTO of CloudZync, said: “It’s great to see that independent coffee shops are still thriving across the UK and that customers are supporting the local community by continuing to visit them. Our mission at CloudZync is to help coffee shop and café owners forge fantastic relationships with customers, and to give those customers a mobile wallet that makes their lives easier too. That’s why we have launched a campaign to champion independent coffee shop owners across the UK and help them find even better ways to engage with customers.”

 Fig. 2 – Reason consumer visit an independent coffee shop of café (Source: OnePoll research commissioned by CloudZync)

Rank

Reason to go independent

Percentage

1

I feel like I am helping my local community

22%

2

I want to support British businesses

15%

3

They treat me like an individual and they know me

15%

4

They are not a chain

14%

5

They have free Wi-Fi

13%

6

They pay their tax

12%

7

The queue is always shorter

7%

8

They have a loyalty scheme which means I can get cashback or free items in store (e.g. a free coffee)

4%

9

They let me pay using my mobile

3%

10

They have a loyalty scheme which means I can get discounts on things in store

2%