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Starbucks confirms plans to enter Bulgarian market in 2008

Date: 20.12.2007

Starbucks, the world's biggest coffeehouse chain, confirmed on Wednesday the reports that it would enter the Bulgarian market next year.

The company's Europe, Middle East and Africa division has recently extended its joint venture agreement with the Marinopoulos Group to open stores in Bulgaria, with the first opening in the capital city of Sofia in 2008, the chain said in a statement.

Starbucks successful five-year partnership with Athens-based Marinopoulos Group now spans six markets including Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Switzerland, Austria and the addition of Bulgaria.

Last month, Bulgarian business daily Dnevnik reported that the Greek firm has already secured locations for its future coffeehouses and is now hiring mid-level managers, marketing personnel and a regional manager.

Coffee outsells tea by far on the Bulgarian market and is an important social ritual in the country, but the market is highly fragmented, even though some foreign chains, such as Costa Coffee and McCafe, have recently opened shops in Bulgaria.

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