Starbucks Will Open Its First Shop in South Africa Next Month

Operations Inside A Starbucks Corp. Coffee Shop
Photograph by Bloomberg Bloomberg via Getty Images

Starbucks will open its first store in South Africa next month in the upmarket Johannesburg suburb of Rosebank, the coffee giant’s local licensee Taste Holdings said on Thursday.

Starbucks announced in July last year it would enter sub-Saharan African markets for the first time in 2016. Its second store is due to be opened late-April in the Mall of Africa, around 25 kilometers north of downtown Johannesburg.

“By the end of the next two years we will have opened about 12 to 15 outlets,” Taste Holdings Chief Executive Carlo Gonzaga told Reuters.

Taste, which is also the master franchisee of Dominos Pizza in South Africa, holds the local license for Starbucks and has the right of first refusal in several other African markets.

“We think the South African market can, right now, take about 150 Starbucks stores,” said Gonzaga, but added that Taste is in no rush and will expand the store network gradually.

Starbucks plans to alter its menu for southern African tastes, featuring items like locally-brewed Rooibos tea. The coffee chain follows a similar tactic in other international locations, licensing out stores and altering menus to suit the location.

Starbucks has only a few locations in northern Africa, located in Casablanca and Cairo. The chain’s expansion into southern Africa will be something of a homecoming for the coffee beans it sells, a large portion of which hail from sub-Saharan Africa.

Earlier this week Starbucks announced it was entering another new market: Italy.

(Reporting by TJ Strydom; Editing by Joe Brock)

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