Whitbread announces expansion and recruitment plans

The Whitbread Group which owns Costa Coffee and the hotel chain Premier Inn has announced that it is planning a rapid expansion of these two brands to be supported by the creation of 10,000 new jobs over the next three years. The expansion plans will involve 10,000 new Premier Inn rooms as well as a continued increase in the number of new Costa stores opening, over the past year Whitbread has increased the number of Costa stores from 158 to 1,375. The Costa brand is also set to continue its expansion into international markets with around 160 stores in China and over 100 in India, indicating that their international growth plans are going well.

Whitbread has recently benefited from relatively strong results within their competitive market with their like-for-like sales increasing by 1.8% during the 11 week period leading up to mid-February. On the other hand, Premier Inn’s like-for-like sales fell by 0.9%. However, when comparing Premier Inn sales over the whole year their sales were up by 3.4%. Whitbread has acknowledged that it is not likely to benefit extensively from the Olympics in comparison to others, as only around 20 of its total of 620 hotels are based near the Stratford Olympic site.

The expansion of the Costa and Premier Inn brands will need to be supported by marketing campaigns and strategies to ensure that their investment achieves the highest level of return possible. This is likely to mean that a number of the thousands of jobs Whitbread have committed to creating will be new marketing jobs, to ensure the brands continue to be marketed effectively. Premier Inn’s most recent advertising campaign has featured comedian Lenny Henry, with the aim to advertise the cheap deals that the hotel chain offers.

Andy Harrison, CEO, at Whitbread has acknowledged that there continues to be a difference in performance between London and the rest of the UK with the group finding the market in the capital to be relatively robust. Commenting on Whitbread’s performance Mr Harrison has stated that:”Premier Inn has outperformed its competitive set, benefiting from our commitment to maintain our hotels to a consistent high standard. Our scale, strong balance sheet and good returns enable us to continue to expand in line with our plans and win share of the hotel market.”

With such a large intake of new staff it is likely that Whitbread’s Luton based Head Office is also set to see an increase in the number new starters with the likely creation of new PR, Brand Management and Marketing jobs amongst others to support their planned expansion.

Brand Recruitment recruits for marketing jobs across the Eastern Region from Luton to Norwich, and works with retail and leisure brands throughout this region.

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