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Lavazza tackles the UK coffee shop jungle

Lavazza, the family-owned coffee company, is throwing its hat into the UK coffee shop ring with its chain of cafes.
Lavazza's Expression Cafes

Lavazza, the family-owned coffee company, is throwing its hat into the UK coffee shop ring with its chain of cafes.

Headed by fourth-gen Alberto Lavazza, the Italian family business has plans to create a potential 400 Lavazza Espression cafes in the UK over the coming decade, with the first 50 opening in the next two years.

The Lavazza family has kept coffee shops well stocked for more than 100 years. Luigi Lavazza first made a name for himself in 1895 by selling his own blends of coffee in his Turin grocery store, but Lavazza didn't venture into cafes until 2007 – the Espression cafes started out in Lavazza’s hometown of Turin.

Lavazza has already dipped its toe into the UK coffee shop market; its flagship Harrods store opened in 2010 and it has a number in airports across the UK. The Espression cafes will be run as franchises with Lavazza supplying the coffee, food products and staff training.

Anyone familiar with the UK high street knows it is a bit of a scrum market for coffee shops, but a spokesman for Lavazza told CampdenFB: "It is not Lavazza’s intention to go head-to-head with high street coffee shop chains as Lavazza are first and foremost roasters and not ‘pure’ retailers. This move is about building the Lavazza brand equity worldwide."

With a certain big-name coffee shop falling from grace in recent months, maybe the time is ripe for a new player.  

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