Where Starbucks is looking to open its next South African stores

On Wednesday, Taste Holdings said that US coffee chain Starbucks will make its long-awaited debut in Durban in November 2017.

The group said that it will open two new stores in eThekwini, the first of which will launch on Durban’s iconic Florida Road, with another being set up in the Gateway shopping centre.

Speaking to BusinessTech, Taste Holdings CEO Carlo Gonzaga said that this will be followed by the launch of a store in Johannesburg in the Melrose Arch Precinct before the end of 2017.

He further confirmed that the chain was actively looking at suitable sites to open new stores, “looking to double our store footprint in 2018,” he said.

“This will include additional stores in Gauteng, KZN and the first Cape Town store,” he said.

Gonzaga said that further details would be released at a later date, but could not provide further comment as Taste holdings was trading under a cautionary and are in a closed period.

Starbucks in South Africa

Following the launch of its first store in Rosebank in 2016, Starbucks has since launched five more stores, all in the Gauteng region.

Taste has subsequently said that its roll-out plans for the Starbucks brand in South Africa will be slow and considered –  delivering a “quality” Starbucks experience.

This included the February launch of its popular rewards programme locally, allowing customers to redeem rewards for their purchases, and also pay at select stores through the Starbucks mobile app.

However the cost of launching the franchise in South Africa has not come cheap, with Taste highlighting expenses associated with the final conversions to Domino’s, and the launch of Starbucks, as some of the reasons behind its most recent losses.

The holding group said at the end of last month that it expects to report a headline loss per share of between 15.5 cents and 16.4 cents for the period ended August 2017, representing a decline of between 72.2% and 82.2%, compared to the headline loss per share of 9.0 cents in 2016.

Read: Starting your own business vs opening a franchise – an SA bank explains

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Where Starbucks is looking to open its next South African stores