Starbucks has affirmed its bullish view on the South African market with a bold expansion into Cape Town, scheduled for later this year. This was announced by Adrian Maizey, owner and CEO of Rand Capital Coffee, the custodian of Starbucks in Southern Africa.

“We remain committed to our expansion strategy and vision, which is to provide all South Africans with an extraordinary experience and offering, from both a customer and partner perspective, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.” Maizey refers to Starbucks employees as ‘partners’ in line with the company’s global policy as the term fosters a sense of equality and shared vision, and is consistent with Starbucks’ mission to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.

Maizey says that Starbucks’ launch into Cape Town was initially intended to happen in June. “When Covid-19 hit we had to place the initiative on hold, triggering several hard decisions that impacted all partners, and a mass round of lease renegotiations across the country.

“Fortunately, we have resilient partners and we are grateful to those landlords who share our vision and commitment to contribute to the South African economy, and who have worked closely with us to help ensure our expansion was only delayed and not cancelled. It is during such a time of crisis that the importance of collaboration between all stakeholders for the greater good, is most apparent,” says Maizey.

With several leases now in place in the Mother City and investment initiated in the requisite supply chain, which the company has now brought inhouse, Starbucks Southern Africa is now embarking on building its Cape Town team. Rand Capital Coffee’s expansion journey will initially result in at least 50 permanent new jobs, with the further employment of local artists, construction contractors, and artisans.

On the subject of store design and experience, Maizey says the Cape Town stores “will offer an experience consistent with the values and store atmosphere that Starbucks is known for globally, designed to reflect the most beautiful city of them all.”

Starbucks began in 1971 as a roaster and retailer of beans, ground coffee, tea and spices, with a single store in Seattle. Today the company connects with millions of customers every day with its own special taste and offering that has seen the company grow to more than 30,000 retail stores in 80 markets.

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