Compass Group UK, the world’s second largest food service company, is to create a UK chain of ‘mall cafÃ©s’ and will appoint at least one group to the job by the end of August, industry sources say.
Five consultancies have been shortlisted and it is thought that up to three may be awarded work, which will involve branding, interiors and name generation for the shopping centre cafÃ© chain.
The chain is understood to be positioned at shoppers in their 40s whose children have left home. The cafÃ©s will open across the UK, but locations, and the size of each cafÃ©, have yet to be specified.
The shortlist has been culled from an initial round of presentations involving 11 groups.
However, there is confusion over how the final appointments will be handled. Sources indicate that there will be a final shoot-out between three consultancies, whereas other sources say that three will divide the spoils.
Design House, Eigg, Groupe LeÃ§on, Corsie Naysmith and Conran Design Group are understood to have made it to the shortlist. The project is being handled by the group’s retail and leisure section.
It is believed that work will start on concepts as soon as a group or groups are in place.
Shopping centres offer huge potential because of the size of the market and the fact that it is ‘underdeveloped’, says one source.
Compass refuses to comment on any aspect of the project.
BDG McColl, which created interiors for Compass’ motorway service stations Moto (DW 10 May), was not included on the list.