Coffee shop collapse

The demise of Simply Coffee in April and Espresso Essential in July has left independent retailers thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Raaj Chandarana, of Tara’s Londis in High Wycombe, is 18 months into a three-year contract with Simply Coffee, but must continue paying £500 a month to third-party leasing provider Henry Howard Finance (HHoF). 

HHF also provided similar contracts for machines from Espresso Essential on one-to-three-year leases from £35 per week. 

Steve Roy, managing director of rival firm Denby Drinks Company, told betterRetailing: “It’s hard to pinpoint where Espresso Essential went wrong, but with any supplier contract it’s important for retailers to research properly first.

“Check online reviews and whether they’ve had a number of name-changes on Companies House. Are the sales people particularly pushy?