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“We pay our taxes and still make better coffee than Starbucks”

by on October 19, 2012 in Blunders, Lead story, London & South East, PR, Retail, Rock 'n Roll

“Corporate Britain? Starbucks is a US company that is forcing independent British coffee shops out of business because it has advantage of paying a fraction of the corporation tax, as has been established.”

Starbucks could face angry protests on Saturday after pressure group UK Uncut said it planned to start targeting the coffee chain’s stores.

The group, which has previously organised sit-ins at HM Revenue and Customs and at upmarket grocer Fortnum & Mason, will be meeting outside St Paul’s in London on Saturday morning under the banner “no cuts, no tax-dodging”, before joining a TUC march through central London against the government’s austerity programme.

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However, Starbucks said it has no plans to close any of its central London locations, including the branch directly opposite where the protesters will be meeting.

At the same time as campaigners were planning protests, train operator CrossCountry said it might stop selling Starbucks coffee on its services, and a new poll found that the coffee firm’s brand identity had taken a “disastrous” hit from the revelations that has paid just £8.6m in tax since launching in the UK 14 years ago.

Bosses at the company are thought to have been in contact with HM Revenue and Customs to clarify its tax position. On Thursday, HMRC said a total of £32bn had been lost to tax avoidance in the past year, an increase of £1bn on 2010-11.


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3 CommentsAdd yours

  • Francine Pickering - October 19, 2012

    It’ll be interesting to see how long that reputational hit lasts. Will customers now be flocking to independent coffee shops in droves or switching their allegiance to another high street chain? Or will short memories prevail and see the Starbucks brand bounce back?

  • keith holland - October 20, 2012

    Independent coffee shops are run by people who have a real passion for coffee, in the same way a restaurant owner opens a restaurant because they have passion for food. Many Indie Coffee shops will use a UK roaster who works directly with farmers offering fairer than “fair trade” We certainly hope that the public will start to recognise the great community hubs that many of these coffee shops offer/ Great pic btw. That was us 🙂

  • Will Corry - October 20, 2012

    Francine and Keith,

    Thanks for the comments – appreciated

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