Costa kills off beloved Wickford charity shop

So disappointing – shop manager Jackie Martin, far right, with volunteers Lynda Eva, Lyn Fone, Chris Coates and Joyce Ralph

So disappointing – shop manager Jackie Martin, far right, with volunteers Lynda Eva, Lyn Fone, Chris Coates and Joyce Ralph

First published in News by

A CHARITY shop is being forced to close after 17 years – to make way for a coffee shop.

Loyal customers have reacted angrily after it emerged St Luke’s Hospice shop, in Wickford High Street, will shut its doors for good next month.

The private landlord of the property, next to Iceland, is thought to have given the charity one month’s notice, after national chain Costa Coffee made a higher offer on the lease.

St Luke’s has been told to leave by Friday, August 8, but is currently in discussions with the landlord about staying put for as long as possible.

Costa Coffee has not yet put in a planning application to change the use of the building.

Bosses at St Luke’s are currently looking for alternative premises in Wickford, but admitted they have not yet been able to find anywhere suitable.

Eileen Marshall, chief executive of St Luke’s, said: “We had been negotiating with landlords under the terms of our lease and thought we had an agreement in place.

“However, regrettably, offers made by a national company have been accepted.

“Had we been able to settle on an agreeable rent, we had plans to totally refurbish this shop.

“There comes a point where the figures just don’t add up and matching the rental offered by other interested parties was not sustainable.”

All staff and volunteers are being kept on by St Luke’s and will be offered shifts in one of the charity’s other nine shops.

The Wickford store, which opened in 1997, specialises in furniture, clothes, books, DVDs, CDs and jewellery.

Mrs Marshall added: “We are disappointed to be closing this shop as St Luke’s have traded here successfully for 17 years and we feel a part of the Wickford community.

“Over the years, we have been fortunate in being included in the wonderful community spirit that exists here. The shop has received tremendous support from the public, local organisations, clubs, schools and businesses.

“I would like to take this opportunity of thanking each for their support and kind wishes.

“We will be doing all we can to minimise the negative impact closing this shop will have on our budgeted income for the year.”

St Luke’s Hospice, which cares for adults with life-limiting illnesses, needs to raise £3million every year to stay open.

Bosses at Costa Coffee said they are currently looking into options to open a shop in Wickford.

They claim there are “no firm plans” in place, despite the landlord of the High Street unit serving St Luke’s with a notice to get out.

The national chain will have to get change of use permission from Basildon Council before the coffee shop can open to the public.

A spokeswoman for Costa said: “As the UK’s favourite coffee shop brand and one of the success stories on the UK high street, we work closely with planning departments across the country to open new stores for the benefit of their local communities, creating new jobs and providing attractive and popular social meeting places.

“We are currently evaluating opportunities in the Wickford area, but have no firm plans in place at this stage.”

Comments (22)

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6:07pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Russ13 says...

It's a bit harsh to blame Costa for this really...... The landlord has made the decision to serve notice on the charity shop and all he's trying to do is earn a living.

You can't really blame the landlord for wanting to make a bit more money.
It's a bit harsh to blame Costa for this really...... The landlord has made the decision to serve notice on the charity shop and all he's trying to do is earn a living. You can't really blame the landlord for wanting to make a bit more money. Russ13
  • Score: -2

6:08pm Thu 17 Jul 14

sesibollox says...

Nothing personal, just Business...
Nothing personal, just Business... sesibollox
  • Score: 0

6:09pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Howard Cháse says...

Money talks....
Money talks.... Howard Cháse
  • Score: 15

6:22pm Thu 17 Jul 14

CHRISTMAS CAROL says...

Costa coffee houses stink, they do not pay coperate taxes and there coffee is too dear, ordinary people cant use thembut they are taking over the world
Costa coffee houses stink, they do not pay coperate taxes and there coffee is too dear, ordinary people cant use thembut they are taking over the world CHRISTMAS CAROL
  • Score: 9

6:35pm Thu 17 Jul 14

sesibollox says...

Good really, that Costa is replacing that charity shop, puts an end to all the odd balls, turning up wanting everything for nothing, no more sacks of cr@p being left outside, and opened by drunkards.
Brings back some class, to the area.
Good really, that Costa is replacing that charity shop, puts an end to all the odd balls, turning up wanting everything for nothing, no more sacks of cr@p being left outside, and opened by drunkards. Brings back some class, to the area. sesibollox
  • Score: -2

6:36pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Ian P says...

CHRISTMAS CAROL wrote:
Costa coffee houses stink, they do not pay coperate taxes and there coffee is too dear, ordinary people cant use thembut they are taking over the world
I could not agree more with your sentiments and in addition I do not like the taste of their coffee either.
[quote][p][bold]CHRISTMAS CAROL[/bold] wrote: Costa coffee houses stink, they do not pay coperate taxes and there coffee is too dear, ordinary people cant use thembut they are taking over the world[/p][/quote]I could not agree more with your sentiments and in addition I do not like the taste of their coffee either. Ian P
  • Score: 8

6:55pm Thu 17 Jul 14

DAGASMAN says...

I dont get what they are trying to do to wickford, its a small town full of pensioners with a small amount of shops, about 1/4 of those are takeaways already and they have recently added a 4th bookies within 1, 200m highstreet, a subway, a fried chicken shop, they are filling it with shops that hardly anybody will use because they have the most money to buy them while shops that would actually be useful dont get a look in
I dont get what they are trying to do to wickford, its a small town full of pensioners with a small amount of shops, about 1/4 of those are takeaways already and they have recently added a 4th bookies within 1, 200m highstreet, a subway, a fried chicken shop, they are filling it with shops that hardly anybody will use because they have the most money to buy them while shops that would actually be useful dont get a look in DAGASMAN
  • Score: 8

7:28pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Audioman says...

I must agree with CHRISTMAS CAROL.
Their coffee is far too expencive they pay
very low wages and change staff each week.
I must agree with CHRISTMAS CAROL. Their coffee is far too expencive they pay very low wages and change staff each week. Audioman
  • Score: 9

7:38pm Thu 17 Jul 14

white_van_ man says...

Ian P wrote:
CHRISTMAS CAROL wrote:
Costa coffee houses stink, they do not pay coperate taxes and there coffee is too dear, ordinary people cant use thembut they are taking over the world
I could not agree more with your sentiments and in addition I do not like the taste of their coffee either.
No ones asking you to drink it. Anyway it's up to the landlord who rents the property. If costa are willing to pay more than the charity shop good on them. If the landlord had put the rent up and the charity didn't like it I'm sure you'd here about the injustice of a nasty landlord driving a charity out of business
[quote][p][bold]Ian P[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CHRISTMAS CAROL[/bold] wrote: Costa coffee houses stink, they do not pay coperate taxes and there coffee is too dear, ordinary people cant use thembut they are taking over the world[/p][/quote]I could not agree more with your sentiments and in addition I do not like the taste of their coffee either.[/p][/quote]No ones asking you to drink it. Anyway it's up to the landlord who rents the property. If costa are willing to pay more than the charity shop good on them. If the landlord had put the rent up and the charity didn't like it I'm sure you'd here about the injustice of a nasty landlord driving a charity out of business white_van_ man
  • Score: -1

7:39pm Thu 17 Jul 14

I care about rayleigh says...

CHRISTMAS CAROL wrote:
Costa coffee houses stink, they do not pay coperate taxes and there coffee is too dear, ordinary people cant use thembut they are taking over the world
Think you are confusing Costa with Starbucks! At least Cosat coffee is drinkable. But not good that they should oust a charity shop. Mind you - charity shops don't pay business rent tax stuff - so a real business is good for the council tax payer.
[quote][p][bold]CHRISTMAS CAROL[/bold] wrote: Costa coffee houses stink, they do not pay coperate taxes and there coffee is too dear, ordinary people cant use thembut they are taking over the world[/p][/quote]Think you are confusing Costa with Starbucks! At least Cosat coffee is drinkable. But not good that they should oust a charity shop. Mind you - charity shops don't pay business rent tax stuff - so a real business is good for the council tax payer. I care about rayleigh
  • Score: 4

7:43pm Thu 17 Jul 14

sesibollox says...

CHRISTMAS CAROL wrote:
Costa coffee houses stink, they do not pay coperate taxes and there coffee is too dear, ordinary people cant use thembut they are taking over the world
I like the high costs, keeps out the chavs, the unemployed, the grey tracksuit wearers and you...
[quote][p][bold]CHRISTMAS CAROL[/bold] wrote: Costa coffee houses stink, they do not pay coperate taxes and there coffee is too dear, ordinary people cant use thembut they are taking over the world[/p][/quote]I like the high costs, keeps out the chavs, the unemployed, the grey tracksuit wearers and you... sesibollox
  • Score: -2

7:54pm Thu 17 Jul 14

black jack ketchum says...

The shop looks like a pile of tat & needs updating, if it means costa moving in then so be it, we need money spent in our high street if its going to be revived, if you don't like it go to one of the other greasy spoon cafe's
The shop looks like a pile of tat & needs updating, if it means costa moving in then so be it, we need money spent in our high street if its going to be revived, if you don't like it go to one of the other greasy spoon cafe's black jack ketchum
  • Score: 0

7:57pm Thu 17 Jul 14

maddriver says...

CHRISTMAS CAROL wrote:
Costa coffee houses stink, they do not pay coperate taxes and there coffee is too dear, ordinary people cant use thembut they are taking over the world
Whether you do or don't like their coffee or their prices is not relevant. You pays your money and takes your choice.
However they are a part of the Whitbread empire and I don't think there has ever been a suggestion that they don't pay their taxes correctly.
[quote][p][bold]CHRISTMAS CAROL[/bold] wrote: Costa coffee houses stink, they do not pay coperate taxes and there coffee is too dear, ordinary people cant use thembut they are taking over the world[/p][/quote]Whether you do or don't like their coffee or their prices is not relevant. You pays your money and takes your choice. However they are a part of the Whitbread empire and I don't think there has ever been a suggestion that they don't pay their taxes correctly. maddriver
  • Score: 0

9:13pm Thu 17 Jul 14

mrslc says...

black jack ketchum wrote:
The shop looks like a pile of tat & needs updating, if it means costa moving in then so be it, we need money spent in our high street if its going to be revived, if you don't like it go to one of the other greasy spoon cafe's
Couldn't agree more.

If Costa do come in hopefully it'll attract other big names into our failing high street.
[quote][p][bold]black jack ketchum[/bold] wrote: The shop looks like a pile of tat & needs updating, if it means costa moving in then so be it, we need money spent in our high street if its going to be revived, if you don't like it go to one of the other greasy spoon cafe's[/p][/quote]Couldn't agree more. If Costa do come in hopefully it'll attract other big names into our failing high street. mrslc
  • Score: 0

9:20pm Thu 17 Jul 14

MummyMummy says...

The high road needs a coffee shop! This is a great idea.

As for the charity shop, there are too many in such a small town anyway and I have been in this one and found the staff very rude!
The high road needs a coffee shop! This is a great idea. As for the charity shop, there are too many in such a small town anyway and I have been in this one and found the staff very rude! MummyMummy
  • Score: -2

8:41am Fri 18 Jul 14

pembury53 says...

costa seems a bit up market for wickford, where do they think they are, leigh-on-sea ?
costa seems a bit up market for wickford, where do they think they are, leigh-on-sea ? pembury53
  • Score: 3

9:39am Fri 18 Jul 14

n-unknown says...

In this day and age, money talks.

It is the landlord who should be blamed for siding with the higher bidder. In my opinion, I can't blame the landlord. It is sad to see a charity shop being pushed out for another unneeded large business/franchise, but business is business and everyone is trying to make a living, and that includes accepting the highest offer for the lease.

With the way successful businesses are going, both online and in high street shops, charity firms need to reinvent themselves if they plan to keep up and keep doors open on the high street.
In this day and age, money talks. It is the landlord who should be blamed for siding with the higher bidder. In my opinion, I can't blame the landlord. It is sad to see a charity shop being pushed out for another unneeded large business/franchise, but business is business and everyone is trying to make a living, and that includes accepting the highest offer for the lease. With the way successful businesses are going, both online and in high street shops, charity firms need to reinvent themselves if they plan to keep up and keep doors open on the high street. n-unknown
  • Score: -1

12:25pm Fri 18 Jul 14

counciltaxpayer says...

Personally I think there are too many charity shops in Wickford. Some of them get council tax rebates and then sell new goods and this undercuts anyone paying full tax while operating a shop and trying to make a living.
Having said that I would much rather St Luke's than Costa coffee. I would not understand people who are only 15 minutes from home going in an expensive coffee shop rather than wait until they get home. After all its mainly local people who shop in Wickford.

If and when Costa coffee apply to the Council for a change of use for the premises it may not be granted. If anyone is against such a change of use they can contact the council (online, email, phone or snail mail) and object once the application is submitted.

Some people will be for such a change of use others against, but those against don't just sit back and complain after the event do something.
Personally I think there are too many charity shops in Wickford. Some of them get council tax rebates and then sell new goods and this undercuts anyone paying full tax while operating a shop and trying to make a living. Having said that I would much rather St Luke's than Costa coffee. I would not understand people who are only 15 minutes from home going in an expensive coffee shop rather than wait until they get home. After all its mainly local people who shop in Wickford. If and when Costa coffee apply to the Council for a change of use for the premises it may not be granted. If anyone is against such a change of use they can contact the council (online, email, phone or snail mail) and object once the application is submitted. Some people will be for such a change of use others against, but those against don't just sit back and complain after the event do something. counciltaxpayer
  • Score: 3

1:01pm Fri 18 Jul 14

wickford1962 says...

CHRISTMAS CAROL wrote:
Costa coffee houses stink, they do not pay coperate taxes and there coffee is too dear, ordinary people cant use thembut they are taking over the world
Isnt ignorance bliss, Costa Coffee is owned by Whitbread who pay large amounts of taxes to fund the NHS etc.
If you want another drink elsewhere go to another shop. Wickford is dragged down by too many poor charity shops which bring in almost know revenue.
Landlords ONLY rent these shops to charity shops at the lowest rents because they cannot lease to higher quality shops which would raise higher rents because 'higher end' shops dont want to come to Wickford.
I livein wickford and want to see progress andnot just more years of stagnation. if somebody wants to invest in wickford (and charity shopsare not investing in wickford but albeit for good reasons funnelling money out of the town) then all good.
[quote][p][bold]CHRISTMAS CAROL[/bold] wrote: Costa coffee houses stink, they do not pay coperate taxes and there coffee is too dear, ordinary people cant use thembut they are taking over the world[/p][/quote]Isnt ignorance bliss, Costa Coffee is owned by Whitbread who pay large amounts of taxes to fund the NHS etc. If you want another drink elsewhere go to another shop. Wickford is dragged down by too many poor charity shops which bring in almost know revenue. Landlords ONLY rent these shops to charity shops at the lowest rents because they cannot lease to higher quality shops which would raise higher rents because 'higher end' shops dont want to come to Wickford. I livein wickford and want to see progress andnot just more years of stagnation. if somebody wants to invest in wickford (and charity shopsare not investing in wickford but albeit for good reasons funnelling money out of the town) then all good. wickford1962
  • Score: 3

2:14pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Ugly says...

This is the Lanlords choice.

Costa is not to blame here, they are a business like any other.

Too many charity shops in one shopping area is a sign of decline, so this change however unfortunate for the charity is good for Wickford.

The Charity will easily find another empty premises and lease that on a hugely discounted price.
This is the Lanlords choice. Costa is not to blame here, they are a business like any other. Too many charity shops in one shopping area is a sign of decline, so this change however unfortunate for the charity is good for Wickford. The Charity will easily find another empty premises and lease that on a hugely discounted price. Ugly
  • Score: 2

5:02pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Wickly says...

DAGASMAN wrote:
I dont get what they are trying to do to wickford, its a small town full of pensioners with a small amount of shops, about 1/4 of those are takeaways already and they have recently added a 4th bookies within 1, 200m highstreet, a subway, a fried chicken shop, they are filling it with shops that hardly anybody will use because they have the most money to buy them while shops that would actually be useful dont get a look in
LOL! Wickford has a population of about 30000, which is about half the size of Basildon (if you don't count Laindon, that has its own shopping centre), and only about 20% of the population are over 65. So not a small town, and no more 'full' of pensioners than anywhere else. What Wickford really needs is some modern shops - yes, including the big national chains - to attract more people and more investment into the centre. Adding more 'budget' shops as you're suggesting is hardly going to improve matters.
[quote][p][bold]DAGASMAN[/bold] wrote: I dont get what they are trying to do to wickford, its a small town full of pensioners with a small amount of shops, about 1/4 of those are takeaways already and they have recently added a 4th bookies within 1, 200m highstreet, a subway, a fried chicken shop, they are filling it with shops that hardly anybody will use because they have the most money to buy them while shops that would actually be useful dont get a look in[/p][/quote]LOL! Wickford has a population of about 30000, which is about half the size of Basildon (if you don't count Laindon, that has its own shopping centre), and only about 20% of the population are over 65. So not a small town, and no more 'full' of pensioners than anywhere else. What Wickford really needs is some modern shops - yes, including the big national chains - to attract more people and more investment into the centre. Adding more 'budget' shops as you're suggesting is hardly going to improve matters. Wickly
  • Score: 5

9:57am Sat 19 Jul 14

Nigel999 says...

Half the size of Basildon but not a shopping centre that reflects it. You need to cross the A127 for anything decent and no transport links after 7pm. Call that a town? Hardly a decent shop in the High street and no wonder. It's full of charity shops, cheap tat shops, money laundering beauty shops, take always and chicken shops that just attract the yobs etc. why on earth would a decent shop come here? Welcome Costa! You just may attract other decent brands to become your neighbours. I for one will be a regular user. All these hypocrites who wouldn't take a tax dodge perhaps? Laugh? I nearly cried ...
Half the size of Basildon but not a shopping centre that reflects it. You need to cross the A127 for anything decent and no transport links after 7pm. Call that a town? Hardly a decent shop in the High street and no wonder. It's full of charity shops, cheap tat shops, money laundering beauty shops, take always and chicken shops that just attract the yobs etc. why on earth would a decent shop come here? Welcome Costa! You just may attract other decent brands to become your neighbours. I for one will be a regular user. All these hypocrites who wouldn't take a tax dodge perhaps? Laugh? I nearly cried ... Nigel999
  • Score: 5

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