STARBUCKS has issued a statement following the sudden closure of its Summertown coffee shop.

The chain's branch in Banbury Road is now empty, with all signage removed and windows blacked out. 

Starbucks said: "We can confirm that our store at Summertown has now closed its doors.

"It’s been a pleasure being part of the community, and for those customers looking to carry on enjoying their favourite Starbucks drink, the team at our nearby store at Cornmarket Street look forward to welcoming you."

The American company did not provide any reasoning for the closure.

Councillor Mary Clarkson, board member for culture and city centre, said: “Many large chains have recently closed nationally, and locally many businesses will be considering how they can adapt and evolve to a changing retail environment that is affecting the UK as a whole.

"The closure of Starbucks in Summertown this week also speaks to the fact that not only small traders are affected by the changing retail environment, but large chains as well.” 

Councillor Andrew Gant, who is a ward member for Summertown as well as Liberal Democrat shadow member for corporate Strategy and economic development, said he was 'concerned' to see a 'major player' leaving the area.

He added:"There are a number of vacant units, some of which have been empty for some time. I’m particularly sad to see the wonderful Book House go.

"Obviously there are a variety of reasons for changes within the district centre, and it's great to see some new businesses coming.

"Fellow councillors and I will be working with residents and stakeholders to keep Summertown the vibrant and welcoming community it has always been for all residents and visitors.”  

A faceless shop front now stands in the space of the former coffee shop which was next to the Co-op store until as recently as last month.

The Starbucks main website still lists the Summertown branch on its list of UK outlets but no longer has opening hours. 

It appears to have closed suddenly without warning or announcement made either at the site or online.

Its Facebook page does say it has permanently closed.

Some social media users have suggested the closure - one of many in the city recently - could be a result of high rents in Summertown, with competition from the Costa on the opposite side of the road also put forward as a possible factor. 

The coffee shop brand has four others in Oxford including one in the city centre, two in Headington and one at the Peartree Interchange.