In a classic case of you win some, you lose some, just one week after Lee and Wrangler announced they were leaving Argentina comes news that Juan Valdez, the iconic Colombian coffee brand and store will be launching in the country in December 2019. The announcement was made by Grupo Re (which is also behind Almacén de Pizzas) and consists of a plan to open at least 150 stores over the next seven years.
The first locale is scheduled to open at some point later this year, though it’s still not clear if it will happen in November or December. What is clear, though, is that the first shop will be located in a busy and crowded spot (such as a shopping mall or along a large avenue) and that it will be of the smaller variety rather than a larger flagship-type space.
The license for the brand was acquired by a society formed by the aforementioned Re and Paraguay venture Acsa and includes exclusivity for Argentina and Uruguay with regard to shops, product sales (packaged coffee to take home, for example) and a branch of the HORECA group (hotels, restaurants and catering) which offers the possibility of selling coffee machines to establishments like hotels.
In an interview with Apertura Negocios, the future general manager of Juan Valdez in Argentina explained that the brand has identified Bonafide and Café Martinez as its closest competitors and not, as one would imagine, Starbucks. The reasoning for this has to do with the fact the Juan Valdez focuses on specialty coffee or, as he puts it: “People that prefer to drink from a porcelain mug and not necessarily a plastic one” (even though stores will have plastic cups as well).
Juan Valdez is currently present in 13 countries worldwide, bringing service to over 10.5 million customers annually. We leave you now with a gif of a cat at a coffee store that may or may not be a Juan Valdez shop, but is cute nevertheless.