Neil went up to London today to see some people. He didn’t have meetings, or anything specific arranged, it’s just that he doesn’t get to see anyone when stuck in his bedsit in Andover and he likes to get out occasionally and see people.
He reported back during the day to give us his coordinates and check on Tasty, the NTI newsroom hamster (which has taken incontinence to whole new levels in the last fortnight) and told us that the Costa Coffee at Waterloo station was closed. This makes some sense as today (Thursday 3 September) the chain said that up to 1,650 roles are at risk of being cut, as it is forced to reduce costs because of the impact of Coro ... blah, blah, blah. Costa markets itself as ‘The Nation’s Favourite Coffee Shop’, but surely even Lionel Messi has to be in it to win it and closing one of their busiest outlets in the UK seems like an odd way to take the fight to the pandemic.
A spokesperson, speaking with a cup of Pret A Manger macchiato in his hand through the bars of the closed shop on Waterloo, said: ... “there are still high levels of uncertainty as to when trade will regain pre-pandemic volumes”, but opening coffee shops seems like a sensible place to start.
Neil Lake, managing director of Costa Coffee in England and Wales said that most of its UK coffee shops that were closed during lockdown have now reopened ... most, but not all, eh Neil? "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".
Meanwhile, on the non-coffee-serving-online-side-of-the-virtual-street Amazon is to create 7,000 new permanent UK jobs by the end of the year, the online retail giant has announced. The company said it was on top of 3,000 already added this year, taking the total to 10,000. On this news the staff members from Costa at Waterloo made a bolt for the closed and barred door to run the 2.3 miles to 60 Holborn Viaduct to apply for jobs at the coffee shop in the impressive glass foyer there ... curiously, it is a Costa and it is open.