After conquering the coffee and fast-food market in Canada and attempting to do the same in the United States, Tim Hortons is garnering success overseas, particularly in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) after establishing its 32nd location in the region.
As part of the company’s 2011 international strategic plan, Tim Hortons is planning to launch 120 restaurants in the GCC by the end of 2015, a move that has generated national headlines across the Great White North. Since it opened the doors of its first five locations in late 2011 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – another two locations in Oman – Tim Hortons has maintained its focus on tapping into the Dubai and Abu Dhabi markets.
Nevertheless, it was a festive occasion in Kuwait City when Canadian Minister of International Trade Ed Fast served the restaurant’s very first cup of coffee and shot a ceremonial puck onsite at The Avenue Mall.
“Together with our partner in the GCC, the Apparel Group, we are thrilled to celebrate the opening of the first Tim Hortons Cafe and Bake Shop in Kuwait," said David Clanachan, Chief Operating Officer of Tim Hortons, in a statement. "We have been warmly welcomed by our guests in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman and look forward to bringing the Tim Hortons experience to our guests in Kuwait City.
“We are fortunate to have found as strong a partner as The Apparel Group to help us expand internationally within the GCC," added Clanachan. "With their excellent reputation, knowledge of local real estate and impressive portfolio of global retail brands, we are confident our presence in that market will continue to flourish."
In addition to the landmark ceremony, it was confirmed that the very first official Tim Hortons drive-thru will open in Abu Dhabi sometime this autumn. Other opportunities in the region are also in the process of being explored.
This is great news for a company that has been struggling south of the border. Tim Hortons confirmed this month that sales in U.S. markets were not generating enough returns. Due to concerns among shareholders, it was reported that the coffee giant would be expanding its share buyback plan by $900 million as its slashes its growth projections.
In other news, Tim Hortons reported weaker than expected same-store sales growth. According to the company, there was only a 14 percent increase in profits during the second quarter and now expects lower figure than its initial forecasts in both Canada (two to four percent) and the U.S. (three to five percent).
Over the years, Tim Hortons has continued to face tough competition, whether it’s McDonald’s or Starbucks, which all are tapping into the coffee market and expanding their menu options. At the present time, Tim Hortons offers paninis, wraps, baked goods, soups, breakfast, specialty beverages and much more.
As of Jun. 2013, Tim Hortons presently operates 4,304 restaurants worldwide, including 3,468 in Canada, 807 in the United States and 29 in the Gulf Cooperation Council. Tim Hortons maintains 76 percent of the Canadian baked goods and coffee market. It also controls about one-quarter of the fast-food market in the country. Other interesting facts about Tim Hortons can be read here.