UK brand strategy development & new store location strategy


Tim Hortons, (TH’s), is a coffee and restaurant chain often described as Canada’s answer to Starbucks and Costa and is known for its superb coffee, sandwiches and doughnuts.

After building a hugely successful business in both its home country and the US, it was announced last year that Tim Hortons was to start opening outlets across the UK.

Gurprit Dhaliwal, Chief Operating Officer at Tim Hortons UK and Ireland, said: “We’ve witnessed Tim Hortons’ phenomenal success in Canada, and wanted to replicate this in GB. It’s hard to explain just how important Tim Hortons is to Canadians, it’s not just a restaurant, it’s a way of life and a place of ‘home’, and we’re positive Great Britain will fall in love with the brand.”

Working as a key strategic partner, Serendipity2’s brief was to help create the UK brand profile and to identify the best locations to open new stores, with a view to the long term roll out of a large number of high street and drive through formats.


S2 has applied the know-how and expertise gained from geographic retail and consumer data insights to play an important role in the location planning strategy and site selection aligned to customer profiling.

S2 developed a customer profile and brand alignment model for Tim Hortons based on UK target market demographics, containing key consumer, workplace, retail, road networks, foot traffic, competitive pressure and proximity driver data elements.

Date visualisation of scored location opportunities were brought to life in S2’s mapping and planning tool, Segmentz™, to produce density heat maps and ranked reports of regions, cities and towns with the highest footfall opportunity.

The future mix of in store openings will mirror the high density geographical areas matching the consumer brand profile in a way that also ensures the optimum retail portfolio investment mix across high street, drive throughs and shopping centre locations.

Based on our customer profiling and area analysis, TH’s initial focus was on Glasgow as the first key city to launch. Strategy follows the expansion of inline stores within specific cities and towns in order to build the profile of the TH brand before extending into other cities and towns.

As TH opens a few stores, S2 will be able to use the store data, (size of store, SKU volumes, sales data etc.), to develop more sophisticated predictive models, supporting future expansion. 


The initial locations have been identified and work commenced on the fitting of stores, bringing the Tim Hortons red and white vintage-style branded store frontage across from Canada into the UK.

The chain’s first UK coffee shop, and also its first in Europe, opened on Argyle Street in central Glasgow in June 2017.  It will be followed by a “12-month rapid expansion into other major regional cities” throughout Britain later in the year.

“We’re really excited to open our first restaurant in Britain and the buzz we’ve been seeing has been unbelievable,” said Gurprit Dhaliwal, COO of Tim Hortons UK and Ireland LTD.

“With its burgeoning café culture, Glasgow is the ideal spot for our first location and we think Glaswegians will love our great coffee and delicious, freshly made food.”