Puccino's goes under but future of cafe culture is looking up

Fourteen outlets had already closed over the past few months, and now cafe and coffee kiosk operator Puccino's has officially thrown in the towel. That means another 29 units will stop trading immediately and 43 are being transferred to Puccino's Worldwide Ltd.

Before collapsing into adminstration, Puccino's shifted more than 5.5 million espresso shots every year, holding 80 outlets in the south-east alone. Its fall marks the latest line of coffee shops to be swallowed up by the downturn, after Coffee Republic went into administration in July and BB's Coffee & Muffins, O'Briens and Tchibo all disappeared.

That said, the latest report from Allegra Strategies - the coffee shop consultancy - claims the sector has shown "remarkable resilience" during the recession, though its predicted growth for 2010 is slow.

Allegra reckons branded coffee chains like Caffè Nero, Costa and the inevitable Starbucks will keep on blossoming next year - its report even goes as far as suggesting they'll "outperform the retail sector" as cafe culture becomes further engrained in British society.

Interestingly, it gives a nod to the so-called "Third Wave" of artisan independent coffee houses springing up across the nation, based on "an Antipodean coffee culture".

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