News has come to light that a planning application has been submitted to allow the building of a new Consett Starbucks cafe near to the site of the now closed Giovanni’s ItalianConsett Starbucks on the way restaurant. The ever expanding coffee chain will be opening a large drive through restaurant near Consett’s many retail outlets on Genesis Way. It has been assumed for some time that at some point Starbucks would end up in Consett and this news hasn’t been a big shock to many residents. Starbucks are a major multinational company who have recently been in the media due to their aggressive tax avoidance in the UK paying an exceptionally low level of corporation tax.

The Seattle based coffee chain have been spreading extensively across the globe with restaurants in most major towns and cities in the UK. Their unique atmosphere and upmarket products have helped them move to the top of the cafe world making a net income of £191 million in the first three months of 2012. Using a stereotypical Italian style and atmosphere, Starbucks is seen my many independent coffee shops as the enemy due to their aggressive expansion and market dominance. Consett has a number of small independent cafes in the town centre and this new development may have some impact on their trade and business.

One interesting point of discussion is that the planned Consett Starbucks will have a drive through like the McDonalds across the road. Although this is a very common practice in the USA, drive through coffee shops is not something we are used to. Have you ever had the urge to get a coffee in whilst out and about and thought “I’ll just use the drive though”. I am somewhat sceptical about this idea but it could take off and change the way we see Starbucks in our area.

All the planning information for the new Consett Starbucks can be found on the Durham County Council website at;

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