China’s fastest expanding coffee brand Luckin Coffee, announced the official opening on May 8, after establishing 525 stores in 13 Chinese cities during its 4-month trial run, poised to further eat into Starbucks’ market share with its aggressive internet-enabled business model. The company has sold 5 million cups of coffee to 1.3 million customers so far, propelling its app to become #1 most popular food app in iOS app store on April 18.
Founded in November last year by ex-COO of Chinese ride-sharing firm UCAR, QIAN Zhiya, Luckin Coffee leverages on its 30-minute delivery service, coupons and social networking promotion to entice users to its app. QIAN once told media that Luckin Coffee will splash 1 billion yuan (approx. US$ 156.8 million), which is raised from QIAN’s ex-boss, CEO of UCAR and other investors in its angel round, to grow costumers’ loyalty.
Starbuck is also proactively expanding in China. With its current 2800 stores, the giant coffee chain eyes to increase its stores to 5000 by 2020. Luckin Coffee’s local competitor, Coffee Box, just raised approx. USD 25 million in March to fuel expansion in the country.