An independent coffee shop based in Cardiff city centre has criticised Starbucks’ plans to open its fourth shop on Queen Street.
Edwin Abenheimer, Coffee Barker’s general manager, says his shop will not be able to compete with the increasing number of big brand coffee chains on the high street.
He says: “I think the Government or the local Council who make these decisions let big companies in places that are very desirable to attract people to bring them in [to the city centre].
“Having these big businesses here, allows them [the Welsh Government] put up the rates for places like us and makes it a little bit harder.”
The announcement of Starbucks latest shop will be its fifteenth in the Welsh capital.
They say the new store will employ fifteen people and will fill a site which has been empty for a long time.
“It’s a big blow.” Mr. Abenheimer said.
“We have something different customers still love and choose over the chains. We have the charm of an independent store and a good rapport with customers. We hope that charm will bring people back rather than going to the big chains.”
Mr. Abenheimer says he couldn’t afford to open up another one of his stores because of Cardiff’s business rates.
“You can go to a Starbucks in Cardiff and another one in the middle of London and Edinburgh and it’s going to be the same – very impersonal which I think people to do get weary of at time.
“Being such a powerhouse and that they can afford the rates, that is where they have the upper hand with financial backing. Obviously, if we could open ten of our stories in Cardiff we would but it’s very difficult in a capital city especially with the rates.”
The new Starbucks will open in April.