Industry News | September 11, 2007

Moscow Starbucks Opens with Little Bang

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Last Thursday Starbucks opened its first location in Russia in a mall just north of the city. Although the company registered its trademark in the country ten years ago, economic recessions and lawsuits over the brand’s name kept the company from opening its Moscow location until now.

According to U.K. newspaper The Telegraph, the store’s opening occurred with “little fanfare” and the first day’s business was “a steady trickle.” The news source says this is much different from McDonald’s debut in the country in 1990 when Russians stood in line for hours to experience the quick-serve chain first hand.

Starbucks is confident, however, that the opening was a good move. The company’s spokeswoman, Carole Pucik, told The New York Times that Russia is a strong market for coffee and cited figures from Euromonitor International as evidence. According the report, there is one coffeehouse for every 3,187 people in Moscow while the ratio in New York is one for every 365 people.

Cliff Burrows, president of Starbucks Europe, Middle East, and Africa, told Reuters the company plans to open a second location on Moscow's historic Stary Arbat Street by the end of the year.