Costa Coffee To Cut 1,650 Jobs Following Lockdown Closures

Almost all of Costa's 2,700 UK stores were forced to close for six weeks during lockdown.

Costa Coffee is set to cut 1,650 jobs as it struggles to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.

In a statement posted to the company website, a spokesperson wrote that the “ongoing” impact of Covid-19 “remains challenging” for the brand, forcing the coffee giant to “make difficult decisions to ensure that as many jobs as possible are protected long-term”.

More than 2,400 of Costa’s 2,700 stores are now trading, but for a six-week period almost all outlets were closed, but despite a boost from the Treasury’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme and VAT reduction, “there remain high levels of uncertainty as to when trade will recover to pre-Covid levels”.

Costa employs 16,000 people across the 1,600 stores it directly owns, with another 10,500 people employed across more than 1,000 franchise outlets.

All team members employed in stores closed during lockdown were put on the furlough scheme and had their salaries topped up to 100% for 12 weeks.

The statement posted online highlights some of the steps the chain has taken to improve their financial situation, including reopening branches and freezing all pay within the company’s support centre.

Despite taking these actions, the company was forced to announce a consultation over 1,650 job losses on Thursday.

A man walks past a closed Costa coffee shop in London.
A man walks past a closed Costa coffee shop in London.
Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images

Neil Lake, managing director for Costa Coffee UK and Ireland said: Today’s announcement to our store teams was an extremely difficult decision to make. Our baristas are the heart of the Costa business and I am truly sorry that many now face uncertainty following today’s news.

“We have had to make these difficult decisions to protect the business and ensure we safeguard as many jobs as possible for our 16,000 team members, whilst emerging stronger ready for future growth.

“As a proud member of the UK high street, we remain committed to the role Costa plays in supporting the economic recovery of the country, but today I want to say a huge thank you to all of our team members that are affected by this announcement and we will be supporting you throughout this process.”


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