UK coffee shop becomes latest major chain to launch retail coffee range online amid sustained disruption to traditional operating models during the global pandemic
Caffè Nero closed net 16 UK stores during 2020 and now operates 648 outlets in its native market | Photo credit: Caffè Nero
Caffè Nero is expanding its at-home coffee retail business by launching a store on online e-commerce giant Amazon. The UK-based coffee chain already sells at-home coffee products via its own website, and has appointed global marketplace services platform, Tambo, to optimise its Amazon Marketplace offering.
“It can be really difficult to gain visibility and ranking in a competitive category on Amazon, the coffee category in particular is incredibly competitive – in the 30 shopping days leading up to Christmas, there were over 26,000 searches for ´ground coffee´ alone and more than 10,000 different products listed. Coupled with the cost of selling on Amazon, it’s important to really dial into the right strategy from the off,” said Jake Hewlett, Managing Partner at Tambo.
The move reflects a growing shift towards online sales, delivery, and click & collect as UK coffee shops face on-going Covid-19 trading restrictions. In May 2020, Coca-Cola-owned Costa Coffee
launched a new range of retail coffee products for the at-home market across the UK and Europe. Meanwhile, UK food-to-go chain Pret A Manger
launched a retail coffee partnership with supermarket chain Waitrose in November 2020 and also sells at-home coffee products via Amazon.
Caffè Nero, which operates stores across the UK, US, Europe and the Middle east, has faced significant challenges to its retail operation as Covid-19 continues to disrupt sales. The coffee chain closed net 16 stores in the UK in 2020 and now operates 648 outlets in its native market.
In November 2020, Caffè Nero Group Founder Gerry Ford
rejected a takeover bid
by petrol station forecourt operator EG Group. The coffee chain subsequently entered into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), a move approved by 90% of its investors but challenged by some landlords, including a high profile intervention Lord Alan Sugar, founder of the Amsprop commercial property group.