costa coffee

It’s been a dismal first half of the year for town and city centres. We have seen the spectacular collapse of Maplin, Toys R Us, Poundland and Chimichanga and retailers like House of Fraser, Mothercare and New Look have axed branches in a desperate attempt to stay afloat.

In fact, one headline called it ‘Hell on the high street’ and with sales also in decline we should be braced for more shop and restaurant closures.

Retailers cite pressure from rent, rates and wages but an article in HR Magazines suggests poor service combined with a ‘middle ground’ offer, lacking anything new, niche or exciting, could have contributed to the demise of some retailers.

In the fast paced retail sector, strategic workforce development can support change and help improve performance and efficiency and impact on the bottom line in retail businesses.

Understanding your Commercial Vital Signs

Costa UK took this approach and in 2017 appointed Jungle HR to deliver a flagship leaning programme to 1300 of its Equity store managers.

As the nation’s favourite coffee shop chain owners, Costa had ambitious growth plans and identified the need to equip store managers with training that enhanced their commercial acumen to help drive their plans forward.

The ‘Understanding Your Costa Business’ (UYCB) programme was developed using Jungle’s proven Discover, Design, Deliver and Embed methodology. This started with time spent on the shop floor as well as a visit to their state of the art Roastery to fully understand Costa’s needs, resulting in the creation of a fun and impactful solution to maximise the learning opportunity.

Tools for Success

Our Commerciality Programme provided managers with training, confidence and the tools to analyse their current performance and build an individual business plan for each store. This involved the use of financial performance tools and the ability to manage and monitor income and costs delivered through a fast-paced experiential workshop.

Communication played a huge part in the success story, the framework developed by Jungle has since been used as part of the cultural change desired to achieve Costa’s Giant Step Forward to grow the business.

Embedding the Learning

Training should never be stand-alone therefore ensuring that it is embedded into an organisation is important.  It needs to start with pre-course work which sets the scene for the programme as well as post-course actions and accountability.

Learning often requires a change in behaviour and this can take time.  Our Commerciality programme had clear success measures, learning objectives and KPI’s. All store managers committed to completing an Action Plan and to share these online and with their Area Managers to be measured quarterly.

Positive Outcomes

Store Mangers loved the programme, they reported it was fun, insightful and impactful. Some of the comments included:

…“I’ve worked for Costa for years so I didn’t think I could learn anything, but I found it really useful.”

…“Great day and finally had the chance to understand better my numbers.”

…“Now I understand how to read the P&L. I’m more knowledgeable about the 5-year plan, I’ve learned a lot of what I didn’t know. Very happy.”

…“I have been on many courses before and all have been the same. I don’t remember them. I will remember this one for a long time.”

To find out more about how a tailored strategic learning programme to improve the performance of your management team, take a look at our website or If you want to know more – get in touch.