Nathan Lowry, founder of easyCoffee
The Stelios-backed chain of coffee shops is planning to open a further 100 stores over the next three years, despite challenging market conditions.
easyCoffee has outlined plans to raise a further £3m over the coming months as the rapidly growing chain of coffee stores looks to expand across the UK.
The chain, founded by entrepreneur Nathan Lowry, is aiming to open over 100 stores over the next three years despite the many challenges facing the sector.
Recent market analysis shows that there was a net increase of only 25 coffee shops opened by major coffee shop chains in the UK last year.
In contrast to other market leading coffee shop chains, which are focused on premium product offerings, easyCoffee’s strategy is to target the less developed value segment of the coffee shop and coffee to-go market, by providing quality coffee at affordable price points.
Bucking the trend of negative news stories about the coffee sector – which analysts argue is facing saturation point in five years’ time – easyCoffee has already secured substantial angel funding plus a significant sum from a Middle-Eastern investor.
It is now looking to complete second-stage capital raising of up to £3m to bolster its continued growth in the coffee shop and vending sectors.
easyCoffee CEO Nathan Lowry said: “The supposed saturation of High Street coffee consumption has been greatly exaggerated.
“We believe there are still opportunities for growth in the largely untapped segments of the out-of-home coffee market, by focusing on value and on areas that are less well served by coffee shops.
“Meanwhile, the vending machine segment continues to thrive and we believe this segment still offers potential for expansion.”
easyCoffee’s plans for expansion involve opening another 200 owned or franchised coffee shops in the next three years.
It has already secured development partnerships with seven franchisees that have committed to delivering 50% of these.
Lowry added: “There has been considerable interest from franchinsees, enabling us to focus on multi-franchise partnerships, which will help keep our margins higher by streamlining operations.”
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