On its first day in sub-Saharan Africa, Starbucks supplied blankets and umbrellas along with free coffee samples to its new customers who lined up in at her opening day. It has taken Starbucks years to get to South Africa, but some consumers have taken the coffee giant’s entry into the local market as a reaffirmation of the country’s standing in the world. Most of the first day’s customers were acutely aware of the power of Starbucks’ green siren logo.
“The reality is there’s only about 250,000 people in South Africa who can afford to buy Starbucks on a regular basis.” “A lot of American products are coming into South Africa—Burger King, Starbucks—but it’s good for local business,” said law student Madi Doucoure.
Adrian Shannon, a creative director who says he travels a lot, welcomed Starbucks’ location in the trendy Rosebank suburb, which he describes as having an “international feel.” Starbucks’ new neighbors include a relatively busy Burger King and a recently opened Krispy Kreme that still has a line outside.
Woven leather ceiling panels inspired by basket weaving are some of the new store’s nods to its African location, according to a statement. There are also mugs with the Johannesburg skyline. But the main aesthetic feature is a large copper mural to remind customers of the atmosphere of the Pike Place Market in Seattle and draw parallels to parts of Johannesburg.
Following the announcement that the company had partnered with Starbucks on a 25-year exclusive partnership, Taste Holdings, the franchise management group that will operate Starbucks locally shares surged 20% in July last year, according to reports.
In addition to its Johannesburg coffee outlets, Starbucks also announced plans to open coffee shops in Cape Town.