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Blazhey Bernard Reiss: “In the near future – the launch of the Cofix Inside concept”

Not so long ago, changes occurred in the top management of the Russian representative office of Cofix. The new general director of Urban Cocofix Russia, Blazhei Bernard Reiss, gave his first interview to the information portal Arendator.ru, in which he spoke about new collaborations of the network, about upcoming changes in the assortment matrix of coffee houses and about immediate plans for the development of Cofix.

Tell us about collaborations with other brands? Besides Tele2 and Moskhoztorg, are similar plans planned for cooperation?

Cofix was one of the first companies to successfully implement collaborative collaborations with telecom operators. And if earlier the marketing component was the key factor of this cooperation, now the opportunity to make rent more profitable for both parties is coming to the fore. Cofix already has experience in mutually beneficial partnerships with operators such as Moskhoztorg, Megafon and Tele2, several more new projects are currently under development. We plan to expand cooperation with existing partners and are ready for new intersectoral collaborations in highly walkable locations. In the near future – cooperation with electronics and DIY stores, as well as food-operators. For these purposes, we plan to launch the concept of “Cofix Inside” – coffee shops combined format. Its essence lies in the synergy of traffic within the trading floor.

Are you planning to change the format of some of your points? For example, for street retail, etc.?

Today, the brand is developing in various formats, including in the format of mini-coffee houses with a dispensing window, islands in regional shopping centers, coffee houses in business centers, art clusters, universities, TPU and underground passages to metro stations.

With the development of new formats, the Cofix network in Russia is abandoning the classic point-of-sale design in the form of a trailer, adapting design projects to the format of each particular coffee shop. European designers and technologists are involved in the work.

What updates are planned in the assortment matrix?

We constantly have seasonal menu updates. And, of course, we are guided by international trends and are working on a line of products for vegetarians and vegans at an affordable price, which should appear in Cofix coffee houses this year.

We also optimize the assortment of impulse demand in the checkout area.

Is your customer portrait today?

Cofix has a very wide target audience, from which it is impossible to isolate the core. Regarding statistics, 55% of Cofix customers are women. 70% of our customers are people aged 25 to 44 years.

Tell us how many points you currently have, and how many franchisees? How much is your franchise and what does it give?

Today in Russia there are 138 Cofix coffee houses (including 12 corporate points). In 2019, the company as a whole changed its approach to franchise sales, making it more flexible and responsive to the needs of the franchisee. Now Cofix partners can choose one of two package offers that differ from each other in cost and a set of incoming services. In the Standard package, the lump-sum payment is 600 thousand rubles. It includes: analysis of accessible locations and areas, the formation of a business plan, legal support for a lease transaction, designing a point, building control and acceptance, full management of the opening project, partner training, operational support after opening, membership in the Cofix partner club and etc. In the Comfort package, the lump-sum payment is one million rubles. And it also includes finding a location by Cofix and recruiting staff for a coffee shop.

The system of alternative offers was developed specifically for potential franchisees who do not have experience in the field of catering, and those who are already working in this area. As a result, each partner can choose for himself the package that best suits his needs.

We are also considering the introduction of mini-formats with an entry point of 300 thousand or more.

How is the network doing in the Northern capital? Planning new cafes in St. Petersburg?

Currently in St. Petersburg – 11 Cofix coffee houses. We plan to strengthen our position in the city and open at least 5 new points by the end of 2019.

What are your plans to “conquer” the regions? What cities are in priority?

This year, we focus primarily not on the number of open coffee houses, but on quality and improvements within the network. We are working on changing management systems and business digitalization. The Cofix network has shown tremendous growth last year, and management and service levels need to match the size of the network. As for the “conquest” – we want to first make sure that our business is stable and efficient in the already selected regions. Therefore, now the focus is on Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan. Of course, we have plans for further expansion, which, first of all, depends on the logistics flows associated with million-plus cities. In addition, the availability of local manufacturers is important to us.

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