Starbucks is set to open at the junction of Sarsfield Street and O'Connell Street PICTURE: ADRIAN BUTLER
LIMERICK city centre looks set to get its third branch of coffee-shop chain Starbucks.
The former O’Sullivan’s pharmacy unit, at the junction of O’Connell Street and Sarsfield Street is in the process of being refitted, and signage advertising the coffee shop giant’s name was being erected on site this Tuesday.
Founded in Seattle back in 1971, Starbucks first opened in Limerick back in 2015, with its first outlet being at Colbert Station.
This was followed up with a second unit in the Thomas Street centre, also home to Uber, the following year.
Helen O’Donnell of the Limerick City Business Association has expressed concern at yet another coffee shop opening in the city.
She said: “We have enough coffee shops in the city right this minute. We have become a real cafe and food city which is great. But we’d just hope there are enough people to frequent these places. It’s tough going. Each franchise is independent, so while there are a number of Starbucks in the city, they are all independent owners. Best of luck to them, but my goodness, it’s a very crowded market.”
Ms O’Donnell has bemoaned the fact that it is effectively another chain shop opening in the centre.
“We’d like to see independent businesses opening up, we want to support our local famlies. I feel this is a Starbucks too many, or indeed a coffee shop too many.
“While our city centre population has increased, it hasn’t increased that enormously,” she said.
Ms O’Donnell suggested a new masterplan needs to be put in place to promote a better retail mix.
Starbucks Coffee will join a Costa Coffee branch nearby, which operates at the former HMV unit in Cruises Street.
O’Sullivans pharmacy itself moved to the former Munster store in the heart of O’Connell Street.
The Starbucks Coffee chain has been contacted for comment by The Leader.