Starbucks in South Africa? Yes, it’s true. The American coffee shop mega-brand has officially touched down in South Africa, with the first store in the country open to the public in Rosebank, Johannesburg to much fanfare and excitement.
Other stores are set to open in coming months, with South African consumers keen to embrace the world-renowned brand.
We take a look at 8 things you probably did not know about Starbucks and their new venture into the South African market.
After bringing international takeaway brand Dominos Pizza to the country, SA company Taste Holdings are the masterminds behind Starbucks’ entry into the South African market. Taste is the master franchisee of Dominos, and they hold the local licence for Starbucks in South Africa, while they have the right of first refusal for expansion into several other African markets.
When one compares the prices of the South African Starbucks offering with the coffee chain in other parts of the world, the price is favourable for SA consumers. Of course, one needs to consider what the typical customer in the country can afford, and prices must be competitive versus similar chains already in place in the country. For this reason, Starbucks customers will pay between $1.18 and $2.50 (R17 and R36) for a variety of coffees.
Taste have announced their intention to open 15 Starbucks Coffee stores within the space of the next two years, at an assumed cost of around 8.4 million. Much of the early focus will be on Gauteng, including the major cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria, while the company believes that there is the potential for 150 outlets in the country at some point in the future.
In the setting up of Starbucks’ Rosebank store, and all others to follow, local artists and carpenters are contracted to produce pieces that give a South African flavour to the stores. In the Rosebank coffee shop, each piece of wooden furniture that is in use is hand-made and unique, as Starbucks wish to support local artisans, while artwork and decor elements are also attributed to artists from South Africa.
Starbucks made sure to consider all of the details ahead of their entry into Africa’s second biggest economy, localising the menu to ensure that food and beverages that appeal to SA consumers are available to purchase. To ensure that South Africans find a familiar favourite in store, rooibos, the local tea that famously comes from the country, also features on the menu.
Starbucks is present in numerous markets around the world, and in many of those countries the coffee brand produces special edition mugs for customers to buy, with the city that they are bought in emblazoned on the mug. These mugs are only available in the city they are from, making them a collectable item. Johannesburg is now included in this exclusive list of mugs, as above.
While Starbucks in South Africa was officially launched with the opening of the Rosebank store on April 21, the first real store providing Starbucks coffee to customers resides in the Taste Holdings headquarters in Linbro Park. Not as impressive as the Rosebank or other consumer facing stores that are planned, but technically the first trace of the brand on South African soil under the Taste Holdings banner.
The next Starbucks store to open in the country will be the one located within the the largest single-phase shopping centre development in the southern hemisphere, at 130,000 square metres of retail space. Known as the Mall of Africa, the shopping complex is due to launch on Thursday, April 28, and visitors to the new centre will be able to enjoy another Starbucks Coffee establishment, this time in the Midrand area of Johannesburg.