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Caffe Nero Causes Controversy in Devizes

By Joe Cox


Comments on the Gazette and Herald website expressed disappointment with the news to allow coffee shop chain Caffe Nero to take over an abandoned retail outlet in Devizes. “Even if they don’t get permission, they will still open, as they have done in Bristol,” said one.

It seems that there is continuing controversy over the aggressive and uncontrollable spread of coffee shops around the UK, with special concern over fiercely independent highstreets in quaint towns and villages across Britain, as I have documented on these pages recently.

In Devizes though the concern is less about competition and an abuse of planning permission but the loss of another retail outlet to yet another coffee shop. As I mentioned only the other day in this blog, the UK is now witnessing unprecedented growth in coffee shops but as well as this being cause to celebrate our continuing love affair with the humble coffee bean, perhaps we should pause and take time to consider what it is doing to towns like Devizes.

Fears that Caffe Nero’s plans to open a coffee shop in Devizes amounted to a ‘determined move on Wiltshire market towns’ (other outlets are planned in Marlborough and Chippenham) were flatly denied by UK Managing Director Neil Riding who claimed it was just coincidence. 

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