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Starbucks rip-off opens in Russia after coffee chain pulls out of country

Starbucks rip-off opens in Russia after coffee chain pulls out of country

A rebranded coffee shop has opened in Russia after Starbucks pulled out of the country

A knock-off Starbucks chain has opened in Russia after the popular coffee giant pulled out of the Russian market.

On Thursday, 18 August, Moscow's Starbucks chains reopened their doors to the public after being rebranded as Stars Coffee.

The new chain of coffee shops are owned by Russian rapper Timati, businessman Anton Pinskiy and Sindika Company, who decided to buy all 130 Starbucks in Russia from Starbucks Corp, before rebranding as Stars Coffee.

Aside from a similar name, the two coffee chains also share a similar logo, however the well known Starbucks logo had to be adapted as Stars coffee are banned from using the Starbucks signature green.

The famous Starbucks mermaid has been modified by Stars Coffee who opted for a woman wearing a traditional Russian headdress, known as a kokoshnik.

According to Sostav, Pinskiy confirmed in an Interview with Russian news reporter Ksenia Sobchak the new coffee chain is supposed to be as close as possible to Starbucks.

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Moscow24, reported that the rebranded coffee shop will sell sandwiches, salads, pasta, pastries and desserts. It was also confirmed that baristas will use thermal printers to put customers names on cups.

Despite the seemingly obvious similarities to Starbucks, owners of Stars coffee have insisted that the similarities end there.

Speaking at the launch event, Pinskiy said: "People's perceptions may be different. But if you compare, then apart from the circle, you won't find anything in common."

The owner confirmed they are not using the same resources as Starbucks and have instead found new suppliers.

"We just found other suppliers, found the right roasters, and because the baristas mixed it all correctly, we have a product that we think will be competitive," Pinskiy said.

Coffee beans will be imported from Latin America and Africa, while other suppliers are based within Russia.

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The decision to open the copycat chain of coffee shops, comes after Starbucks pulled out of the Russian market in May, permanently closing the 130 stores in Russia, following the invasion of Ukraine.

Two months prior to pulling out of the country, Starbucks ceased coffee sales in the majority of their Russian shops.

Announcing their decision to pull out of the market Starbucks said in a statement: "Starbucks has made the decision to exit and no longer have a brand presence in the market."

"We will continue to support the nearly 2,000 green apron partners in Russia, including pay for six months and assistance for partners to transition to new opportunities outside of Starbucks."  

Starbucks is not the first company to have a knock-off chain appear in its place, after pulling out of Russia.

In June, 15 McDonald's restaurants were reopened in Moscow after being rebranded Vkusno & tochka or 'Tasty and That's It'. The replacement fast-food chain was opened up by ex-franchisee and businessman Alexander Govor who plans to reopen expand into all 850 locations that McDonald's held in Russia.

The Russian replacement which opened its doors on 12 June, saw hundreds of Russian s queueing to try the 'rip-off' McDonald's.

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Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Russia, Starbucks, Food and Drink