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Coffee Retail Giant Struggling to Find Small Town Hospitality

British coffee retail giant Costa Coffee is having a hard time moving into some of England’s small towns.

Just two weeks ago, Costa willfully ditched plans to open a store on High Street in Totnes, a small town in Devonshire, after a long battle with some impassioned residents who rallied against the presence of a chain in their indie enclave.

costa coffee u.k.Now, residents in Bingham, Nottinghamshire, are waging their own war against Costa. According to a recent BBC report, some 900 residents have signed a petition requesting that city leaders deny plans for a new store on that town’s high street. The petition was started by a local coffee shop owner — representing one of four independent cafes in the town. (By comparison, Totnes has more than 30, while Costa has more than 1,300 retail locations throughout the U.K.

Despite its failure in Totnes, Costa says there’s no need for indie cafes to be threatened by the company, often referred to as “the Starbucks of the U.K.”

“We honestly do not think that anyone should see Costa as a threat to existing retailers,” a spokesman for Costa said in a statement. “Our offering is very different to local independent coffee shops and cafes and we believe that people can and will use both, depending on their needs. However, we would like to point out that this potential site in Bingham is actually in the hands of a local businessman; one of our franchise partners who has invested his own money in the area.”

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