You might think filling an empty shop during a seemingly endless economic crisis would be greeted with enthusiasm. But the latest move into Burgess Hill’s town centre is provoking a mild storm in a coffee cup.
The message that people were getting their latte in a lather filtered through quickly when stopped outside the former Stead and Simpson shop, which is currently being converted to a new Caffe Nero.
“Not another bloody coffee shop,” a passing woman shopper said to no-one in particular and everyone who might want to hear.
Then a Middy reader dropped us a line to suggest the town really did have enough coffee shops and it was time to call a halt.
Truffles in the Martlets is popular with coffee drinkers and sales assistant Roz Short said: “I think it’s disgusting another coffee shop opening up. We have had a lot of customers complaining about it.”
Her assistant manager Fiona Folkes said: “I don’t think they really need to bring in another coffee shop to be honest. We already face a lot of competition, and giving up shops for coffee shops is not a good idea.”
A few doors away at Gerzoo owner Darren Hanson reflected that chain coffee firms had driven him out of Crawley and said: “Everyone will lose some trade because of the name, brand, and marketing power. But we can’t object on planning grounds by saying there are too many; that’s just competition.
“We have been sitting here thinking ‘Who is going to fall first?’.”
Work has started on preparing the old Stead and Simpson shop for Caffe Nero.
Caffe Nero was invited to comment last Thursday but had not done so at the time of going to press.
For the full story pick up a copy of today’s Mid Sussex Times (Thursday, March 21)
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Weather for Haywards Heath
Thursday 20 June 2013
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