Starbucks to Enter Local Market

Starbucks to Enter Local Market

Published: August 22, 2012 (Issue # 1723)

American coffee shop chain Starbucks is set to open in St. Petersburg this fall.

A source close to Monex Trading, which is developing the chain in Russia via a franchise, told the newspaper that cafes covering areas of 200 to 300 square meters would open in the Galeria, Piterland and Mega Dybenko malls.

A five-year rental agreement is at the signing stage, and the premises are already being prepared, along with signs and banners for the cafe’s opening at the end of this fall, said a source close to the management of Piterland.

The three malls tipped to house the coffee shop chain’s first outlets in the city are similar, but Galeria is notable for its prime location in the city center, with higher rental rates than the other two — about 4,500 rubles ($142) per square meter per month, compared to Mega Dybenko’s 2,000-3,000 ($63-$94) and Piterland’s 2,000 rubles, said Yekaterina Lapina, director of the retail real estate department of the Real Estate Research and Development Agency.

Monex is already looking for staff for Starbucks in St. Petersburg. The HeadHunter recruitment website shows the company’s vacancies for roles including an operations manager for candidates with experience in the restaurant business to develop the chain, and for a recruitment specialist with experience in selecting baristas.

Starbucks, which has about 18,000 cafes in 60 countries around the world, opened in Russia in 2007, and has about 56 outlets in the Moscow region, according to the company’s website. The chain was due to open a cafe in the Leto retail and entertainment complex back in 2010, but changed its mind due to doubts over the mall’s appeal, said a source close to the company.

The Petersburg coffee shop market is quite saturated, and a new player could lure over consumers from other chains, said Andrei Petrakov, general director of Restcon restaurant consulting company. According to him, the average check at coffee shops in Moscow is 300 to 400 rubles ($9.40 to $12.60), and it could average the same amount in St. Petersburg.

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