HAMBURG Nov 26 Germany's largest coffee roaster
Tchibo said on Wednesday it would scale down its business in
Britain because of the current weakness in the retail market.
A Tchibo spokesman said cooperation with British supermarket
chains Somerfield and J. Sainsbury (SBRY.L) would be ended in
2009, confirming earlier German press reports. [ID:nLQ94408]
The two British supermarkets have about 100 Tchibo
stand-alone sales points in their stores.
Tchibo was also considering closing its own 50 branches in
Britain, mostly in southern England, the spokesman added.
Tchibo had previously said it planned to build up a national
chain of coffee shops in Britain selling a mixture of coffee and
other consumer goods ranging from clothes to electronics.
The reason for the decision was the current poor state of
the British economy, the spokesman said.
Tchibo started expanding in Britain 7 years ago. In March
the company said it would no longer make major investments in
the country, it would close its activities in France and the
Netherlands and instead concentrate on eastern Europe.
The company has also announced the closure of a series of
coffee shops in its core German market, where it has suffered
intense competition from discount supermarkets.
(Reporting by Michael Hogan and Jan Schwartz; Editing by