In many parts of the world, there appears to be a Starbucks (or two) on every corner. While the coffee king can easily claim the spot for global domination, it is yet to venture into sub-Saharan Africa — until now.
In a press release, the multinational company announced an exclusive licensed partnership with Taste Holdings for the opening of stores in South Africa, the first on the continent, in 2016. “We are proud to be bringing Starbucks to South Africa next year,” said Kris Engskov, President, Starbucks Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “Working with Taste, our partner, we’re going to deliver a great Starbucks experience. The coffee market here is vibrant and growing fast – we want to be part of that growth, bringing the passion and energy of this remarkable country into the design of our first store and our first barista team. We can’t wait to get started.”
The introduction of the company’s stores in South Africa promises the creation of job opportunities, with plans to employ talent from currently unemployed youth directly from the communities in which they trade. Starbucks also sources a lot of its coffee beans from Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Burundi, Zambia, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Establishing a presence on the continent reinforces a commitment to the places that make the company’s global business possible.
Starbucks is following on the heels of other multinational brands including Walmart and Krispy Kreme who are increasingly entering the African market to take advantage of the continent’s growing middle class. While there may be concerns about the impact of the brand on local competitors, the extent of the impact of the company’s entry remains unclear.