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Cotti Coffee begins expansion across China

The Chinese coffee start-up, which launched its first store in October 2022, has set an outlandish target to reach 10,000 stores in the next three years following the launch of its first store in Beijing

Chinese media has suggested that there are currently over 1,000 Cotti Coffee stores in the pipeline | Photo credit: Cotti Coffee


Chinese start-up Cotti Coffee has opened its first franchised site in Beijing and kickstarted outlet expansion across China. 

The company, founded by two former Luckin Coffee executives, opened its first store in Fuzhou in October 2022. 

Cotti Coffee has now commenced construction on locations across the country, including in Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shenyang, Xiamen, Chengdu and Chongqing. 

Led by Charles Lu and Jenny Qian, formerly Chairman and CEO of China’s Luckin Coffee, Cotti Coffee plans to reach 10,000 stores by the end of 2025. 

Chinese media has suggested that there are currently over 1,000 Cotti Coffee stores in the pipeline. 

The rapid expansion that characterised Luckin Coffee’s early rise also features heavily in Cotti Coffee’s growth plans. Both models operate a low-price strategy and convenience offering - the Beijing store has prioritised pick-up services – but the projection of rapid franchised outlet growth bears similarities to Lu’s other business ventures post-Luckin Coffee. 

After he left Luckin Coffee following the disclosure of $300m worth of fabricated sales, Lu launched noodle restaurant Quxiaomian. The business sought to replicate Luckin’s rapid growth but was suspended after just three months of operation.  

Lu also brought a ready meal entrepreneurial project to the Chinese market in 2021 which reportedly reached 200 sites and 6,000 proposed franchise partnerships within its first four months. However, store closures shortly followed the project’s launch and the venture was abandoned. 

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