Closure of major chain coffee shop is latest change on Dorchester's high street

Closure of major chain coffee shop is latest change on Dorchester's high street

CHANGING SCENES: Starbucks

CLOSING DOWN: Stead and Simpson

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

THE closure of a major chain coffee shop is the latest change on Dorchester’s high street.

Starbucks, which occupied the former post office building on South Street, has closed its doors for the last time.

Shoe shop Stead and Simpson is also set to close due to what the company revealed was ‘poor performance and rising costs’.

Meanwhile there is better news for the street’s JJB Sports store, which is one of 20 of the collapsed retailer’s branches to be bought up by Sports Direct.

Project director for the Dorchester BID Phil Gordon said he was pleased JJB Sports, which is currently hosting a closing down sale, would be resurrected as a sports retail outlet by Sports Direct.

He said: “It’s sad news JJB are going but extremely good news that Sports Direct are coming and certainly there are some real bargains to be had there at the moment.”

Recent months have seen a number of new businesses setting up in South Street, including Crew Clothing Co, Steam Trading Cookshop and Two Kings jewellers and pawnbrokers, while Poundland has replaced Wellchester.

Mr Gordon said he expected the changing face of the high street to continue but the good news for Dorchester was that, unlike some other towns, shops were opening as well as closing.

He said: “The ebb and flow of the high street isn’t going to change whatever the economic climate but, while I’m as sad as anyone to see shops go, I take some very positive solace in the fact that it’s not a one way street. Only in the last few months we have had a number of businesses opening.”

Mr Gordon said he expected there would be no shortage of bidders to take on the Starbucks site.

He said he felt it was a good time for retailers and businesses to invest in the bottom end of South Street as progress continues to be made at the Brewery Square development.

He added: “I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there was a queue of people wanting it. It’s a fabulous building in an excellent location.”

Decision Was ‘Not Taken Lightly’

A SPOKESMAN for Stead and Simpson said that a closure date for the shop had not yet been confirmed but explained the reasons for the move.

She said: “It’s due to poor performance and rising costs which unfortunately meant the location was unsustainable. The decision to close a store is always a difficult one and isn’t taken lightly.”

The spokesman added that where possible staff from the store would be redeployed to nearby stores.

Starbucks did not comment in response to a request by the Echo to explain the reasons behind the closure of its Dorchester branch.

Comments (17)

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12:18pm Mon 22 Oct 12

DickDastardly says...

The Starbucks building would make a lovely charity shop.
The Starbucks building would make a lovely charity shop. DickDastardly
  • Score: 13

12:23pm Mon 22 Oct 12

DucksQuack says...

I'm not sorry to see Starbucks go given their tax avoidance antics.

How many coffee and charity shops does one town need?
I'm not sorry to see Starbucks go given their tax avoidance antics. How many coffee and charity shops does one town need? DucksQuack
  • Score: 6

12:28pm Mon 22 Oct 12

Crimbo says...

Perhaps the council could subsidise a real coffee shop to move in as an apology for allowing Starbucks to peddle their stuff for so long...
Perhaps the council could subsidise a real coffee shop to move in as an apology for allowing Starbucks to peddle their stuff for so long... Crimbo
  • Score: 2

12:54pm Mon 22 Oct 12

Duckorange says...

That empty shop will make an EXCELLENT Post Office.
That empty shop will make an EXCELLENT Post Office. Duckorange
  • Score: 5

2:59pm Mon 22 Oct 12

wessex-andy says...

Sorry Duckorange, but that would put the Post Office on the town's main shopping street instead of a back street, and we certainly don't want that in our county town.
Sorry Duckorange, but that would put the Post Office on the town's main shopping street instead of a back street, and we certainly don't want that in our county town. wessex-andy
  • Score: 0

5:14pm Mon 22 Oct 12

CoogarUK.com says...

Don't forget C&H Fresh Ltd Butchers, whose South Street shop has ceased trading, citing "The exceptionally high rates bill and lack of support from west Dorset District Council"

Still, let's look on the bright side... At least we can all afford £2m to build a new church on Trinity Street's car park, eh WDDC?

Any councillor who votes that through on Thursday should hold their head in shame.
Don't forget C&H Fresh Ltd Butchers, whose South Street shop has ceased trading, citing "The exceptionally high rates bill and lack of support from west Dorset District Council" Still, let's look on the bright side... At least we can all afford £2m to build a new church on Trinity Street's car park, eh WDDC? Any councillor who votes that through on Thursday should hold their head in shame. CoogarUK.com
  • Score: 5

7:17pm Mon 22 Oct 12

JamesYoung says...

CoogarUK.com wrote:
Don't forget C&H Fresh Ltd Butchers, whose South Street shop has ceased trading, citing "The exceptionally high rates bill and lack of support from west Dorset District Council"

Still, let's look on the bright side... At least we can all afford £2m to build a new church on Trinity Street's car park, eh WDDC?

Any councillor who votes that through on Thursday should hold their head in shame.
Well to be fair we need a new church. With the damage WDDC is doing, prayers are the only thing that will keep the town from going belly up.
[quote][p][bold]CoogarUK.com[/bold] wrote: Don't forget C&H Fresh Ltd Butchers, whose South Street shop has ceased trading, citing "The exceptionally high rates bill and lack of support from west Dorset District Council" Still, let's look on the bright side... At least we can all afford £2m to build a new church on Trinity Street's car park, eh WDDC? Any councillor who votes that through on Thursday should hold their head in shame.[/p][/quote]Well to be fair we need a new church. With the damage WDDC is doing, prayers are the only thing that will keep the town from going belly up. JamesYoung
  • Score: -2

8:30pm Mon 22 Oct 12

Hardye Boy says...

With Poundland - Pawnbrokers - Betting Shops, why not throw in a Sex Shop!

Then we can be just like Weymouth!!
With Poundland - Pawnbrokers - Betting Shops, why not throw in a Sex Shop! Then we can be just like Weymouth!! Hardye Boy
  • Score: 4

9:27pm Mon 22 Oct 12

bouncytigglet says...

What a misinformed article, was any research actually done at the store itself? I worked in Stead and Simpson many years ago and have kept in contact ever since and was horrified by the tone of this article.

They certainly are not poor performers indeed they have one of the larger turnover stores.

From my own research online you can see that the poor performance and rising costs line is a generic statement given to any press enquiry about store closures.

I feel terribly for the staff who have had to put all the closing down posters up yet have no idea whether they are actually being kicked out or not. All they have been told is that they are in negotiations with their landlord regarding the lease.

How awful to go to work each day not knowing exactly where you stand. Surely coping with this uncertainty will make them all ill with stress.

This article will do nothing to help any of the staff who face huge future changes, I think it is sad that we forget the people who's lives are so affected by these big companies, we like to hear the sensational things yet forget that misplaced words can change someone's life instantly! I do hope this damaging article is reassessed and a real piece written about what is really going on!
What a misinformed article, was any research actually done at the store itself? I worked in Stead and Simpson many years ago and have kept in contact ever since and was horrified by the tone of this article. They certainly are not poor performers indeed they have one of the larger turnover stores. From my own research online you can see that the poor performance and rising costs line is a generic statement given to any press enquiry about store closures. I feel terribly for the staff who have had to put all the closing down posters up yet have no idea whether they are actually being kicked out or not. All they have been told is that they are in negotiations with their landlord regarding the lease. How awful to go to work each day not knowing exactly where you stand. Surely coping with this uncertainty will make them all ill with stress. This article will do nothing to help any of the staff who face huge future changes, I think it is sad that we forget the people who's lives are so affected by these big companies, we like to hear the sensational things yet forget that misplaced words can change someone's life instantly! I do hope this damaging article is reassessed and a real piece written about what is really going on! bouncytigglet
  • Score: -1

7:43am Wed 24 Oct 12

marabout says...

JamesYoung wrote:
CoogarUK.com wrote:
Don't forget C&H Fresh Ltd Butchers, whose South Street shop has ceased trading, citing "The exceptionally high rates bill and lack of support from west Dorset District Council"

Still, let's look on the bright side... At least we can all afford £2m to build a new church on Trinity Street's car park, eh WDDC?

Any councillor who votes that through on Thursday should hold their head in shame.
Well to be fair we need a new church. With the damage WDDC is doing, prayers are the only thing that will keep the town from going belly up.
and we need the new council buildings which are thankfully nearly complete and look fabulous.
[quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CoogarUK.com[/bold] wrote: Don't forget C&H Fresh Ltd Butchers, whose South Street shop has ceased trading, citing "The exceptionally high rates bill and lack of support from west Dorset District Council" Still, let's look on the bright side... At least we can all afford £2m to build a new church on Trinity Street's car park, eh WDDC? Any councillor who votes that through on Thursday should hold their head in shame.[/p][/quote]Well to be fair we need a new church. With the damage WDDC is doing, prayers are the only thing that will keep the town from going belly up.[/p][/quote]and we need the new council buildings which are thankfully nearly complete and look fabulous. marabout
  • Score: 0

7:56pm Thu 25 Oct 12

clairecrow says...

I think you should get your facts right Dorset Echo, i know an employee who has dedicated 5 years of her work life there. what you have put down is a generic quote that is given to anyone who enquires about business and you should atleast do a bit of research. For example did you actually contact the store itself? You make a big deal about the high street losing its shop but you do not make reference to the unfortunate staff members that have lost their jobs. I think next time you should take this into account before rubbing it in their faces!
I think you should get your facts right Dorset Echo, i know an employee who has dedicated 5 years of her work life there. what you have put down is a generic quote that is given to anyone who enquires about business and you should atleast do a bit of research. For example did you actually contact the store itself? You make a big deal about the high street losing its shop but you do not make reference to the unfortunate staff members that have lost their jobs. I think next time you should take this into account before rubbing it in their faces! clairecrow
  • Score: 1

8:06pm Thu 25 Oct 12

dodge08 says...

What a disappointingly misguided and biased article! The brilliant Echo once again bringing upto date cutting edge news - by taking generic statements from the websites of store closure companies as hard hitting facts.

As a local businessman and a friend of many of the staff at Stead and Simpson I can reliably inform the general public that in fact 'rising costs' is a cloak for 'landlord wouldnt take a lesser offer than usual' in an attempt to reduce costs (presumably in an attempt to top up their already sky high £240 million annual turnover)

As yet another few dozen people lose their jobs in this County town of Dorchester, yet again it's soul-less local rag can't even be bothered to get opinions from the people who are actually affected by these stories, the people in the centre of these stories.

Another few chain companies pointlessly closing down stores in Dorchester which will just leave us with even more charity shops, more independent coffee shops and an ever more increasing reason to shop in a different town.

Shame.
What a disappointingly misguided and biased article! The brilliant Echo once again bringing upto date cutting edge news - by taking generic statements from the websites of store closure companies as hard hitting facts. As a local businessman and a friend of many of the staff at Stead and Simpson I can reliably inform the general public that in fact 'rising costs' is a cloak for 'landlord wouldnt take a lesser offer than usual' in an attempt to reduce costs (presumably in an attempt to top up their already sky high £240 million annual turnover) As yet another few dozen people lose their jobs in this County town of Dorchester, yet again it's soul-less local rag can't even be bothered to get opinions from the people who are actually affected by these stories, the people in the centre of these stories. Another few chain companies pointlessly closing down stores in Dorchester which will just leave us with even more charity shops, more independent coffee shops and an ever more increasing reason to shop in a different town. Shame. dodge08
  • Score: 0

9:22am Sat 27 Oct 12

Top Gear says...

last time i shopped in dorch it was still a post office. Didn't realise it had changed.
last time i shopped in dorch it was still a post office. Didn't realise it had changed. Top Gear
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Sat 27 Oct 12

Crimbo says...

dodge08 wrote:
What a disappointingly misguided and biased article! The brilliant Echo once again bringing upto date cutting edge news - by taking generic statements from the websites of store closure companies as hard hitting facts.

As a local businessman and a friend of many of the staff at Stead and Simpson I can reliably inform the general public that in fact 'rising costs' is a cloak for 'landlord wouldnt take a lesser offer than usual' in an attempt to reduce costs (presumably in an attempt to top up their already sky high £240 million annual turnover)

As yet another few dozen people lose their jobs in this County town of Dorchester, yet again it's soul-less local rag can't even be bothered to get opinions from the people who are actually affected by these stories, the people in the centre of these stories.

Another few chain companies pointlessly closing down stores in Dorchester which will just leave us with even more charity shops, more independent coffee shops and an ever more increasing reason to shop in a different town.

Shame.
dodge08 said
"which will just leave us with even more ... independent coffee shops"
Sorry? Am I missing something here? You're suggesting that these large chain concessions such as Staryucks provide better coffee than an independent coffee house? Have you tried the coffee in the "Loft Café", "Taste*", "The Gilded Teapot" or the other independents in Dorchester? There's no comparison between the strange "almost coffee" served by some minimum-waged kid in Costalots and Staryucksand that regal brew lovingly prepared by an independent owner/barista...
[quote][p][bold]dodge08[/bold] wrote: What a disappointingly misguided and biased article! The brilliant Echo once again bringing upto date cutting edge news - by taking generic statements from the websites of store closure companies as hard hitting facts. As a local businessman and a friend of many of the staff at Stead and Simpson I can reliably inform the general public that in fact 'rising costs' is a cloak for 'landlord wouldnt take a lesser offer than usual' in an attempt to reduce costs (presumably in an attempt to top up their already sky high £240 million annual turnover) As yet another few dozen people lose their jobs in this County town of Dorchester, yet again it's soul-less local rag can't even be bothered to get opinions from the people who are actually affected by these stories, the people in the centre of these stories. Another few chain companies pointlessly closing down stores in Dorchester which will just leave us with even more charity shops, more independent coffee shops and an ever more increasing reason to shop in a different town. Shame.[/p][/quote]dodge08 said "which will just leave us with even more ... independent coffee shops" Sorry? Am I missing something here? You're suggesting that these large chain concessions such as Staryucks provide better coffee than an independent coffee house? Have you tried the coffee in the "Loft Café", "Taste*", "The Gilded Teapot" or the other independents in Dorchester? There's no comparison between the strange "almost coffee" served by some minimum-waged kid in Costalots and Staryucksand that regal brew lovingly prepared by an independent owner/barista... Crimbo
  • Score: 1

3:36pm Sat 27 Oct 12

westendcat says...

What ACTUALLY has BID done to promote Dorchester retail.
BID is yet another layer of bureaucracy, paid for by the taxpayer, and operated by non jobbers.
Let the private sector market dictate the market and save us taxpayers from totally non productive parasites like BID.
BID should be abolished.
What ACTUALLY has BID done to promote Dorchester retail. BID is yet another layer of bureaucracy, paid for by the taxpayer, and operated by non jobbers. Let the private sector market dictate the market and save us taxpayers from totally non productive parasites like BID. BID should be abolished. westendcat
  • Score: 1

6:48pm Sat 27 Oct 12

dodge08 says...

Crimbo wrote:
dodge08 wrote:
What a disappointingly misguided and biased article! The brilliant Echo once again bringing upto date cutting edge news - by taking generic statements from the websites of store closure companies as hard hitting facts.

As a local businessman and a friend of many of the staff at Stead and Simpson I can reliably inform the general public that in fact 'rising costs' is a cloak for 'landlord wouldnt take a lesser offer than usual' in an attempt to reduce costs (presumably in an attempt to top up their already sky high £240 million annual turnover)

As yet another few dozen people lose their jobs in this County town of Dorchester, yet again it's soul-less local rag can't even be bothered to get opinions from the people who are actually affected by these stories, the people in the centre of these stories.

Another few chain companies pointlessly closing down stores in Dorchester which will just leave us with even more charity shops, more independent coffee shops and an ever more increasing reason to shop in a different town.

Shame.
dodge08 said
"which will just leave us with even more ... independent coffee shops"
Sorry? Am I missing something here? You're suggesting that these large chain concessions such as Staryucks provide better coffee than an independent coffee house? Have you tried the coffee in the "Loft Café", "Taste*", "The Gilded Teapot" or the other independents in Dorchester? There's no comparison between the strange "almost coffee" served by some minimum-waged kid in Costalots and Staryucksand that regal brew lovingly prepared by an independent owner/barista...
Well actually I didn't make any comment about the quality of coffee or tea produced by the independent coffee shops or Starbucks/Costa.

The coffee in the Loft, Taste etc I am sure is fantastic, that's not my problem - my problem is with the fact that we have more coffee shops in Dorchester than any other type of shop.

The Loft Cafe,
Taste,
Gilded Teapot,
Nappers Mite,
Char Chars Tea House,
Horse with the Red Umbrella,
Goulds (Fashion) Café,
Goulds (HouseHold) Café,
Number 35,
The Old Tea House,
Jagos,

and I promise there are many more, but I am sure I've made my point.

Costa is now two floors
Not to mention all the chain pubs that you can buy hot drinks from; Wetherspoons etc including hotels.

The point is that each shop has it's own merits but my comment referred to the fact that there are already so many of them to choose from.

If you we're to ask people in the street on Dorchester what shops we needed the least, it'd be coffee shops.

Anyway that was not really the point of my comment in the first place, you kinda took it off on a tangent of your own favourite coffee preferences, which isn't really what this post is about.
[quote][p][bold]Crimbo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dodge08[/bold] wrote: What a disappointingly misguided and biased article! The brilliant Echo once again bringing upto date cutting edge news - by taking generic statements from the websites of store closure companies as hard hitting facts. As a local businessman and a friend of many of the staff at Stead and Simpson I can reliably inform the general public that in fact 'rising costs' is a cloak for 'landlord wouldnt take a lesser offer than usual' in an attempt to reduce costs (presumably in an attempt to top up their already sky high £240 million annual turnover) As yet another few dozen people lose their jobs in this County town of Dorchester, yet again it's soul-less local rag can't even be bothered to get opinions from the people who are actually affected by these stories, the people in the centre of these stories. Another few chain companies pointlessly closing down stores in Dorchester which will just leave us with even more charity shops, more independent coffee shops and an ever more increasing reason to shop in a different town. Shame.[/p][/quote]dodge08 said "which will just leave us with even more ... independent coffee shops" Sorry? Am I missing something here? You're suggesting that these large chain concessions such as Staryucks provide better coffee than an independent coffee house? Have you tried the coffee in the "Loft Café", "Taste*", "The Gilded Teapot" or the other independents in Dorchester? There's no comparison between the strange "almost coffee" served by some minimum-waged kid in Costalots and Staryucksand that regal brew lovingly prepared by an independent owner/barista...[/p][/quote]Well actually I didn't make any comment about the quality of coffee or tea produced by the independent coffee shops or Starbucks/Costa. The coffee in the Loft, Taste etc I am sure is fantastic, that's not my problem - my problem is with the fact that we have more coffee shops in Dorchester than any other type of shop. The Loft Cafe, Taste, Gilded Teapot, Nappers Mite, Char Chars Tea House, Horse with the Red Umbrella, Goulds (Fashion) Café, Goulds (HouseHold) Café, Number 35, The Old Tea House, Jagos, and I promise there are many more, but I am sure I've made my point. Costa is now two floors Not to mention all the chain pubs that you can buy hot drinks from; Wetherspoons etc including hotels. The point is that each shop has it's own merits but my comment referred to the fact that there are already so many of them to choose from. If you we're to ask people in the street on Dorchester what shops we needed the least, it'd be coffee shops. Anyway that was not really the point of my comment in the first place, you kinda took it off on a tangent of your own favourite coffee preferences, which isn't really what this post is about. dodge08
  • Score: -1

7:37pm Sun 28 Oct 12

weymouth1990 says...

They should put a proper coffee shop there, like the ones in Amsterdam.
They should put a proper coffee shop there, like the ones in Amsterdam. weymouth1990
  • Score: -2

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