Costa reap the benefits from Starbucks' tax woes
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?