London based Black Sheep Coffee, is planning to expand its number of locations in the City of London to as much as double the size, backed by £4.4 million in funding. With people starting to once again commute to work, sales are skyrocketing for their business, and the company is hiring and training new staff to assist with the expansion.
Black Sheep has always had a stronghold in London with more than 30 outlets, especially in the City. Now, with people going back to the office and the economy opening up, the coffee company is experiencing more success than ever before.
A lot of our sites are getting really busy, we have some sites in the City that are busier today than they were pre-pandemic. – Co-founder Gabriel Shortet
This may be because of the new menu items, which include the ever-popular cold drinks like smoothies. But Black Sheep’s rise in sales may also be due to other coffee shops closing down or not reopening up yet, as a result of the pandemic. With less supply in general, those that are able to still operate, like Black Sheep, can benefit from the situation.
Even during the lockdown in England, the coffee company was still going strong with its e-commerce sales. Black Sheep launched an online subscription model at the start of the first lockdown — it was such a huge success that the company had to outsource fulfilment to meet the demands. In a recent investor report, the company showed that its weekly e-commerce sales had grown by 402 per cent.
With the new £4.4 million in funding for expansion, the company plans to grow its number of shops by 81%, and increase pro forma sales by 96%. With the expansion of outlets, Black Sheep is looking to hire 250 to 300 people in the next 12 months. However, the company is keen to point out that they want to maintain high standards by hiring the best workers. Shortet stated:
“Hiring is definitely front of mind for us today. We’re very strict in profiles we look for in baristas, we’re keeping our standards the same, so it means we have to work twice as much on hiring. We just don’t want to compromise on the quality of our staff.”
It seems like Black Sheep is among those that are fortunate enough to stay afloat during the worst of the pandemic. In fact, they’ve found a way to thrive. With their stronghold in the City, and many of the city workers returning, it’s exciting to see the coffee company expand its presence even more.