Caffeine boost for SA as Starbucks percolates in

TWO SUGARS PLEASE: Plenty of jobs are expected to be created when Starbucks coffee stores hit the country
TWO SUGARS PLEASE: Plenty of jobs are expected to be created when Starbucks coffee stores hit the country

STARBUCKS, the world’s largest coffee chain, will soon open stores across South Africa after the New York Stock Exchange-listed company signed a licence agreement with Taste Holdings, the South African management group.

After the announcement yesterday, shares in Taste Holdings surged 20% to a record high of R5 in early trade, valuing the company at R1.48-billion.

“We are very excited to be Starbucks’s partner in Southern Africa. As we’ve visited numerous Starbucks markets and partners around the world, we’ve come to realise that we share similar core values, including a commitment to localisation and uplifting both direct and indirect partners,” Taste chief executive Carlo Gonzaga said.

The agreement gives Taste the exclusive rights to develop Starbucks outlets in South Africa. It will own and operate the stores directly.

Starbucks already holds the licence agreement to develop US brand Domino’s Pizza in South Africa. Founded in 1971, Starbucks today has more than 22 000 stores around the globe.

Kris Engskov, president of Starbucks Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said: “We are proud to be bringing Starbucks to South Africa next year. The coffee market here is vibrant and growing fast. We want to be part of that growth.”

The partnership will create jobs at the stores, along with new positions at the Taste support office in Johannesburg. Taste expects the skills transfer into South Africa and localisation opportunities in the supply chain to have a material impact.

-Zeenat Moorad

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