Starbucks to Get First Sip of Russian Market

Legal hurdles cleared, coffee giant aims at other US brands
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2007 2:34 PM CDT
Starbucks to Get First Sip of Russian Market
A policeman guards 18 February 2007 a McDonald's restaurant in...   (Getty Images (by Event))

Starbucks will finally open its first Russian store next month, the Seattle Times reports, but the coffee giant will need a jolt of caffeine to achieve the brand recognition of Western rivals who've been in the market for years. Traditionally tea drinkers, Russians have warmed up to domestic coffee purveyors, and few expect Starbucks' latest expansion to fail.

An industry executive says the company’s “powerhouse brand” will help it make up for its late entry into the market, which was delayed by years of wrangling with a Moscow lawyer who claimed rights to its trademark. Starbucks aims to open 10 stores in Moscow and St. Petersburg by year's end—a far cry from the 176 Russian McDonald's outlets. (More Starbucks stories.)

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