| Ireland

Ireland’s Insomnia to target suburban trade in five-year expansion plan

The coffee chain is targeting new stores away from its traditional city centre locations and pursuing growth in office and leisure locations via an extended vending machine portfolio

Insomnia currently operates over 160 company-owned and franchised stores | Photo credit: Insomnia


Insomnia will open up to eight cafés per year to 2027 as part of expansion plans that focus on suburbs and towns rather than city centres, where footfall has not fully recovered post-pandemic. 

The Irish coffee chain, which currently operates over 160 company-owned and franchised stores, said it is exploring opportunities to open between six and eight outlets each year to 2027 alongside a potential four franchised locations per year across Ireland. 

There are also currently 20 Insomnia outlets in Britain, with the company planning to reach 50 by 2027. 

Harry O'Kelly, Chief Executive of Insomnia, told Ireland’s Business Post that Insomnia’s turnover is approaching pre-pandemic levels but more sales are being generated outside of its traditional city centre cafés. 

“We have not seen the recovery in the city. We’ve been very fortunate, our exposure to Dublin 1 and Dublin 2 in terms of the overall percentage of stores we have is low, and therefore the impact is not as severely felt as some other chains. The suburbs have performed incredibly well,” he said. 

Additionally, Insomnia is planning to increase its vending machine footprint in Ireland, targeting high footfall office, healthcare and leisure centre locations. 

The company has also introduced its own coffee capsules for at-home consumers, available in Spar and select Tesco supermarket stores across the country. 

World Coffee Portal data shows the Irish branded coffee shop market exceeded 660 outlets in 2021. Following Insomnia in terms of outlet size is UK-based Costa Coffee with around 120, and US coffee giant Starbucks with 80 coffee stores. 

Pret A Manger opened its first outlet in Ireland in July 2022 as part of plans to open at least 20 in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland this decade. 

Ireland’s total branded coffee shop market is forecast to reach 770 stores by 2027. 

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