1. News
April 24, 2017

Canadians rejoice, Tim Hortons hasn’t been put off UK expansion by Brexit

Canadian coffee brand Tim Hortons is launching its first UK store this year, in Glasgow.

The UK will be the first European country to have its own Tim Hortons, and despite the country’s vote last year to leave the EU, the brand is looking forward to expanding its UK footprint.

Chief marketing officer, Neil Littler, for Tim Hortons UK, told Verdict:

[The Brexit vote] hasn’t changed anything. We’ve been making sure that the proposition has been right for the UK and right for the UK for a long period to come. We’re really excited about the first store opening and that’s where the focus is now. Anything else we’ll take in our stride.

At the moment the company is keeping quiet on which other places in the UK will become home to Tim Hortons.

However, if you can’t make it to Glasgow, Tim Hortons is sponsoring the Canada Day celebrations that take place annually in Trafalgar Square on 1 July.

Around 90,000 Canadians live in the UK according to the Office for National Statistics, and for some, it will be their first chance to have Tim Hortons outside of their home country.

High commissioner for Canada, Janice Charette, said:

There will be a lot of happy people in the square on 1 July to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the formation of Canada.

At the UK launch of the brand at Canada House in London’s Trafalgar Square Charette was full of praise for the company and why it is known as the country’s most treasured brand.

Tim Hortons was founded by its namesake, a famous hockey player named Tim Hortons. He was someone that wanted to create a space for everyone to feel at home and that really is the feeling that you have when you go into a Tim Hortons.

Known for selling coffee and doughnuts, particularly its mini variety named Timbits, Tim Hortons will open its first UK branch in Argyle Street, one of Glasgow’s main shopping roads, in early May.

The coffee brand, which began in Canada in 1964, is responsible for every eight out of 10 coffees served in the country.

Around 15 percent of the population, more than 5.3m people, visit a Tim Hortons cafe every day.

“The first store will open in Glasgow in May and at that point the signature Tim Hortons products, everything from wonderfully coffee, baked goods, sandwiches and breakfast, the full range in Canada will be available in the UK to enjoy,” said Charette.

Read more: 10 facts about the UK’s new coffee shop, Tim Hortons 

Littler said the UK is finally ready for the brand after many calls from Canadians over the years.

It’s certainly an iconic brand in Canada. We think the UK is really looking for something like that now so we think there’s a great opportunity for us as a brand to occupy that space.

Glasgow was chosen as the place to enter the first branch because the city’s population matches the customers Tim Hortons wants to target.

“We’re looking to target similar demographics to what they do in Canada – so students, as well as young professionals and young families. Where ever they are, we want to be. Glasgow has five universities – so we’re very keen to open there,” said Littler.

Tim Hortons is owned by Restaurant Brands International, the parent company behind Burger King, and has partnered with the franchise operator SK Group for the UK launch, as the company played a role in the UK expansion of Domino’s Pizza.