On April 21, Starbucks opened its first store in Johannesburg. This makes South Africa the third African country in which the franchise now operates, and the first in sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, Starbucks stores can be found in Egypt and Morocco. In anticipation of the launch in a Johannesburg shopping center situated in the Rosebank suburb, people queued for hours in the rain. Starbucks fans hoped to be the first customers at its Johannesburg store.

 

(Eat Out SA)

(Eat Out SA)

Starbucks will face strong competition in South Africa, where specialty coffee shops abound. The brand aims at using its status as an international brand as leverage over its competition. This strategy could work as South Africans are apparently huge fans of American brands. Last year, Krispy Kreme Doughnut also launched in Johannesburg to queues that continued for weeks.

 

So far, the prices of Starbucks coffee in South Africa are cheaper than those in the United States and Europe. A café latte in the South African Starbucks costs between $1.89 to $2.30, for example. In consideration of the South African market, the franchise has crafted its menu to include local favorites, such as Rooibos tea. Starbucks has also released collectible mugs with the Johannesburg skyline, and in addition to this, the Rosebank store’s furniture and artwork are crafted by local artisans and artists.

 

(Quartz Africa)

(Quartz Africa)

Starbucks’ presence in South Africa is thanks to the company’s local partner, Taste Holdings. Taste Holdings is also responsible for bringing Domino’s Pizza to the South African market. Plans are in place to open up to 15 Starbucks stores across South Africa, concentrated to Johannesburg and Pretoria, in the next two years. A second branch is set to open in Johannesburg today, April 28. It will be located within the Mall of Africa, said to be the largest single-phase shopping center in the southern hemisphere. Currently, there are no plans to expand the Starbucks franchise to other African countries.

 

Will Starbucks be successful in the South African market? Should the brand expand to other African countries? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below or reaching me on Twitter @rafeeeeta