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Gail’s lays out plans for store expansion amid lower rental costs

Premium café chain announces store expansion plans, as High Street rental prices stabilise 

Gail’s has proved resilient to Covid-19 disruption over the last 18 months | Photo credit: Gail's

Gail’s has announced its intention to open at least four new locations across London, Kent and Surrey, according to a Propel report. 

On September 3 2021, Gail’s opened its 72nd outlet in Kew, London, in what was once a Barclays bank branch. 

Since its first store in Hampstead, London, in 2005, the bakery and coffee chain has continued to expand its boutique café concept to largely affluent areas across the capital and south-east England. 

“We’re finding rents are now stabilising but at a level that attracts us and makes it affordable. A lot of properties we are being offered are former banks. There’s still a reasonable amount of supply in the market,” said Tom Molnar, Gail’s CEO and co-founder. 

Gail’s, which is backed by sector investor Luke Johnson, has proved resilient to Covid-19 disruption over the last 18 months. The chain opened a new store in Windsor during the first wave of the pandemic in May 2020. 

Other businesses, however, have not adapted as well to the impact of the pandemic and changing consumer behaviour. 

According to a BBC report, more than 8,700 chain stores have closed in British High Streets, shopping centres and retail parks in the first six months of this year, averaging almost 50 outlet closures a day. 

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