Starbucks is finally coming to Norway - by 2014

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Norway's NRK tells us in an article here today that Starbucks is finally planning to come to Norway. One would assume that a country like Norway would have already had a few locations, but looking at the map that's not the case:

Interestingly, no Starbucks in coffee-guzzling Finland either.

NRK's article is surprisingly negative on the idea. Here's the gist of it:

The US coffee chain Starbucks will start business in Norway by 2014. Starbucks will first establish itself at traffic junctions, but hopes to then open up mainstream coffee bars in Oslo.

Communications directer Carole Pucik to Dagens Næringsliv: "We know the Scandinavian market very well, and will definitely get into the Norwegian market. The possibility is very high that we will be there in three years."

On the other hand we have social scientist Erling Holm Dock, who is not so sure. "Starbucks will struggle if they want to get into the street level area in Olso, Bergen and Trondheim. The best locations are already taken, and Starbucks serves worse coffee than the leading Norwegian coffee bars such as Kaffebrenneriet and Stockfleths." He believes that the only place where Starbucks can be competitive are inside malls and airports. "They could compete well with cafés such as Upper Crush in Gardermoen (Oslo Airport) or hybrid kiosks like Deli de Luca at shopping centers, but they'll need to work hard to compete with the best Norwegian coffee bars."

Studies show that 75% of the Norwegian market knows the Starbucks name and logo, and Starbucks has 50,000 Norwegian fans on Facebook.

Dock Holm then said that one of the attractions to Starbucks is its exotic nature, and that being available on the streets in Norway would damage this image as a coffee shop from abroad.

The comments below the article are also divided - not so divided on Starbucks actually coming to Norway (a new coffee shop is always exciting) but whether they will succeed. Some think the Norwegian coffee shops are better, others think their service sucks and Starbucks will blow them out of the water, others think it doesn't matter since Starbucks is a brand and doesn't need to be better than the competition anyway to succeed.

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