The Nespresso kiosk in Aberdeen’s Union Square has been forced to close due to the antisocial behaviour of youths.
Consistent issues with lawless behaviour have led the company to close the stall due to health and safety concerns for its employees.
Members of the Nespresso team have been reporting issues of “kids running havoc” in the centre for years.
Staff reported some of the shocking behaviour included youths throwing sweets, spitting at staff, exploding firecrackers and making sexual comments.
Problems would reportedly get worse during the school holidays when around 30 to 40 kids would roam the shopping centre.
Nespresso moved location and hired security guard in fight against youths
Nespresso was first opened on the ground floor level of Union Square, next to the Apple Store.
But in November, bosses made the decision to move the kiosk up to the first floor outside TGI Fridays due to youths dropping things on staff.
A security guard was even hired by Nespresso to protect the kiosk for around two weeks, but staff were told it could not continue indefinitely due to costs.
Other Union Square locations not commercially viable for Nespresso
It is understood Nespresso also looked at alternative units in Union Square, but staff were told they were not “commercially suitable” in the long term.
The pop-up boutique kiosk will be shut from Sunday, July 9.
The Swiss company, which is part of the huge Nestle corporation, announced the closure in an email to customers.
A spokeswoman for Nespresso said: “Changing circumstances mean that we have taken the decision to close our Aberdeen boutique.
“This is not a course of action that has been taken lightly. We are working closely with colleagues affected and supporting them through this time.”
It is understood six jobs in Aberdeen are now at risk.
What is Union Square doing about the antisocial behaviour?
The closure of Nespresso is the most recent example of the antisocial behaviour in Union Square escalating.
A German Shepherd security dog was even brought in by the shopping centre to help control the crowds of youths.
Staff at Nespresso believed the dog worked at controlling the youths as they were scared of it, but said it has since been removed.
They believe the issue is due to Union Square’s policy of not physically removing the kids.
“They just speak to them. And if they throw something at them and run away they don’t do anything”, they said.
“It has become unmanageable even for the police.”
What does Union Square say about Nespresso’s decision to leave?
Union Square said it is working with a team of city stakeholders to fight against antisocial behaviour, but stressed it was still a desirable location in the city centre for businesses.
A spokeswoman for Union Square said: “Union Square continues to be the premier retail destination in Aberdeen, reflected by strong occupier demand. This year we have already enhanced the offering with new openings across fashion, beauty and dining.
“Our focus will continue to be on delivering for our customers with new concepts and experiences that engage and excite, whilst supporting our brands. We look forward to providing more updates soon.”
What does the police say?
Police Inspector John Lumsden said: “We are aware of the effect antisocial behaviour has on the local community and visitors to our city centre.
“Alongside our partners we are committed to encouraging people away from this kind of disorder, which will not be tolerated. Officers carry out regular patrols throughout the city centre and I would urge anyone with concerns to speak to them.
“We will take appropriate and robust action where incidents are reported and offenders identified.”