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Owner of Lymington coffee shop Lounges “disappointed” that Loungers UK is opening one with almost exactly the same name right opposite hers.

A COFFEE shop owner has described as “disappointing” the news another eatery is opening with a similar name right opposite hers.

Chris Turner, who has run Lounges in Lymington High Street with her husband for nine years, was stunned to learn a national restaurant chain was to open across the street, with the word Lounge in its name.

The new eatery is owned by LoungersUK, which runs Arcado Lounge in Christchurch and Arboro Lounge in Ringwood, and in its title will have a prefix before the word Lounge. However, Chris says she still thinks there could be some confusion due to the names.

Owner of Lounges coffee shop says customers will become confused
Owner of Lounges coffee shop says customers will become confused

“It is very unfortunate and annoying,” she said. “I know the company has every right to open a coffee shop there and I have nothing against progress and competition but the similarities in the name does concern me.

“I am worried that people will mix us up.

“Not so much my regulars and local people, but we have excellent online reviews and if visitors to the town look us up and see them, they may end up in the wrong place across the road!”

Chris says she asked New Forest District Council if there was anything she could do to stop the company using such a similar name, but was told that unless the name was offensive they could call it what they wanted.

“What the company do is very good but I don’t think Lymington really needs any more coffee shops,” said Chris. “It is quite crowded with cafes and charity stores as it is.”

Loungers describes its premises as a “neighbourhood café-bars combining elements of a restaurant, British pub and coffee shop culture”.

Chris put up a post on social media about the situation, in which she said: “I am sure I speak for all of the independent cafes and shops in Lymington when I say we appreciate and rely on your business, and wouldn’t be here without your year-round support.

“Please continue to use the independents – it is so much harder for us to survive, especially in the current climate.”

New Lounge eatery will open where Barclays bank used to be
New Lounge eatery will open where Barclays bank used to be

Her post sparked 75 comments, with one customer saying: “We love Lounges – it is disgusting another coffee shop is opening with a nearly identical name.”

But a spokesperson from Loungers said as with its other sites in Christchurch and Ringwood, the Lymington venue will be given a name with a local reference.

“This is very different to the existing Lounges Café,” they said. “Our unique branding will make it very clear to everyone that we’re a different company all together.

“It’s a lovely area and we’re looking forward to getting to know everyone.

“The new site will have a genuine community focus and it is important to us that we give back – we partner with local charities to raise funds, our spaces are used for meetings of local groups and businesses and we encourage customers to use us as a community hub.”

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