Costa reap the benefits from Starbucks' tax woes

11 December 2012

Interesting. Costa Coffee has stomped into the middle of the big tax avoidance stage and played a big trombone all over it. In the wake of a widespread consumer huffery over Starbucks and their slippery tax-paying ways, it seems that Costa sales have increased by 7.1% in the past three months, suggesting that coffee-swilling Brits are voting with their feet.

Costa boss Andy Harrison boasted that, ‘We have been the UK's favourite coffee shop for some time; we remain the taxman's favourite coffee shop too.’ Well, THERE’S smug for you.

Another interesting stat shows that Costa had a record week last week, raking in £10m from 3.8m customers – at the same time as Starbucks was backtracking frantically and pledging to pay £10m in tax over each of the next two years following talks with the HMRC.

Additionally, over 40 Starbucks branches were targeted by UK Uncut protestors – very much the kind of thing that would persuade the casual coffee drinker to take a short walk and get their caffeine fix somewhere else.

It remains to be seen whether Starbucks will recover from the row – is their £20m tax pledge enough for the damage to their reputation to be mended?


  • I n.
    Hooray good to hear it but all still over priced drinks
  • Chewbacca
    They're both as bad as each other. Decide to buy a coffee at Starbucks at Glasgow Queen St with my livingsocial £10/£5 gift card. Waited in a long ish queue. "Sorry, our till doesn't take those". Bugger. Queue at Costa equally as long, decides to give it a miss rather than miss my train. Gets to Edinburgh, thinking I'll go to Costa (Waverley has never had a Starbucks). Its closed down. FFFFUUUUUUU.... inb4 "intriguing yarn, fellow".
  • Kevin
    Pity someone doesn't point out the not so friendly things parts of Costa's parent company does. Costa is a better place than Starbucks, but that's a product issue. Cost use Twinings tea, Starbucks use a bag of wood shaving by the look of it.
  • Gabriella
    Costa Coffee is British, owned by Whitbread and help regenerate town centres as meeting places. They also paid 20m in corporation tax and offer good career prospects to staff even those doing minimum wage jobs. I would rather Costa than Starbuck's, to compare the former to the latter is a big insult. As for Starbuck's I just wish they would close down if they are so unprofitable.

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