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Starbucks' Canadian Rival Set to Enter Russian Market

Canadian coffeeshop chain Presse Cafe is set to enter the Russian market, where it will compete with the American Starbucks chain, the Kommersant newspaper reported Monday.

“The Presse Cafe CEO and his advisors are currently in Russia. Their mission is to study our opportunities in Moscow in the coming years,” Presse Cafe's statement said.

According to Kommersant sources, Presse Cafe is exploring the possibility of opening a network in Moscow as a partnership with a master franchisee. Set up in 1995 in Montreal, Presse Cafe now operates more than 100 coffeeshops in Canada, France, Australia, Cyprus and North Africa.

As Presse Cafe plans to position itself as a medium-priced coffee chain, according to one of the sources, the Canadian company's closest competitor will be Starbucks, which currently runs 76 outlets in Moscow.

Despite the economic crisis that has forced Russians to slash their entertainment expenses, the popularity of coffeehouses is growing in Moscow.

Last year, the coffeeshop market of Moscow and the Moscow region grew by 12 percent to 18 billion rubles ($276 million), according to data from market research firm NPD Group, Kommersant reported.

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