The venture capital-backed coffee chain served 150,000 UK customers in the six months following its London debut in June 2022, but strong revenues were offset by losses due to the high cost of sales as it fine-tuned operations
Blank Street opened 13 UK outlets in the second half of 2022 and a further 15 in 2023 | Photo credit: Blank Street Coffee
US coffee chain Blank Street Coffee experienced a turbulent first six months of trading in the UK, with strong revenues in the second half of 2022 offset by high cost of sales, according to its first UK accounts filing.
The venture capital-backed coffee chain opened its first UK store in London in June 2022 and quickly became a fixture of the capital’s coffee scene, opening 13 outlets within six months and a further 15 in 2023.
New Companies House filings for the period ending 31 December 2022 show Blank Street achieved sales of £1.9m ($2.3m), serving 150,000 customers during the period.
Additionally, full-year sales for six-store café chain Over Under, which Blank Street acquired in October 2022, grew 51% year-on-year to £2.9m ($3.7m) in 2022.
However, Blank Street’s total cost of sales, which often rises when a surplus of stock is held, outstripped turnover during the period to reach £2.2m ($2.7m), leading to a £2.9m ($3.6m) loss.
“As is true of many young businesses, the first few months are a key time to set up systems and processes, including those that track and manage our inventory to perfect certainty. We don't have any concerns on the topic, or accounts,” Blank Street CEO Issam Freiha told The Standard.
Blank Street opened its first store outside of London in Manchester in December 2023 and is seeking to open further outlets outside of the UK capital in 2024. The coffee chain also plans to introduce its Regulars in-store beverage subscription to the UK market this year.
The loyalty scheme has two tiers in the US, priced at $8.99 and $17.99 per week, offering customers up to 14 beverages per week. The higher-priced plan includes non-espresso beverages, such as matcha and chai, dairy-free alternatives and 20% off food, merchandise and retail packaged coffee.