The Shrinking Prospect of Kaldis Coffee
When Kalids opened shop in Addis Ababa in 2005, mimicking the iconic image of Starbucks, it was an instant success. It was popular and packed with customers and many waited by the entrance for a seat – any seat as long as they could join the cool crowd enjoying the imported delicacy of the United States.
This was even as it suddenly changed its image after a court threat from lawyers of Starbucks. The last year has begun to see its local success dwindle.
By December, the company was closing many cafes, including three locations in Bole alone, one inside Berhane Adere building, another one next to Mado Hotel and the other, near the Bole International Airport under the area known as “Bole Deldeye”.
This in addition to the one, in front of Black Lion School. According to sources, others are expected to close shop soon.
The management has yet to explain the sudden closures, but observers have begun to see a decline in business and growing competition from locally branded cafes that are opening around the capital. It’s spacious new café on Entoto remains empty as the company contemplates the future of the brand.
Last year, the management also shut a new Gusto restaurant it had opened in mere months where its Kaldis coffee was sold from borrowed space from Assay School and abruptly ended a partnership with KFC after it had rented an expensive space inside a spacious building in Bole.
The name Kalid’s has also been a controversial name as there is a similar café in the United States. The experience of the brand adds to others, who have been accused of intellectual violations who use American brands without authorities, in addition to Kaldis, the Intercontinental Hotel in Addis Ababa that has repeatedly lost court cases, In & Out burger, Kentaki Krunchy Fired Chicken (KKFC) and others.