STARBUCKS is set to close its town centre cafe after 11 years.

The store in Market Place Shopping Centre will close on Sunday August 25.

The American coffee chain is one of the original stores from when Market Place opened in 2008.

Despite “a really good couple of years with sales”, company bosses have decided to close the cafe as part of their long-term strategy.

Store manager Timothy Firth, who has worked at Starbucks for nine years and managed the Bolton store for the past year...

He said: “It’s a four week turnover period. My district manager informed me about two weeks ago and I informed my staff two days later at a meeting.

“We have a lot of staff who’ve been here since the day it opened so 11 years, some more who’ve been here for seven or eight years. Even our newest members of staff have been here a year. It’s a team that have been here for quite a long time so that’s what the customers have got to know.

“We were shocked because we’ve had a really good couple of years with sales and things but it just comes down to the long-term future of the store. It did come completely out of the blue though.”

Some of the staff will be transferring to Starbucks stores in Bolton and Manchester, but the majority of staff have decided to leave the company

A ‘memory wall’ has been set up in the store, allowing customers to write thank you messages and memories on the wall in felt tip pens.

Mr Firth added: “The idea actually came from the Fallowfield store in Manchester. They did the same thing.

“Our customers have been coming since it opened so it was a nice way for them to write something up there about the team and say goodbye.

“It’s absolutely wonderful. We’re getting cards as well which will all go up on our last day.”

Market Place manager Nikki Wilson-Cook admitted she was sad to see the store leave the shopping centre.

She said: “Starbucks is a great brand and we would have loved for them to stay."

“We have been informed that Starbucks is changing the structure of its UK business and that they have decided to close their shop at Market Place. We want to reassure customers that a replacement offer is being investigated and an update will be shared on this as soon as possible.”

The Bolton News has approached Starbucks for comment.