The Xiamen-based coffee chain opened 1,167 sites in China during its first quarter to reach 9,381, averaging 13 new stores a day during the period
Luckin Coffee opened 1,167 sites in its first quarter to reach 9,381 stores | Photo credit: via Shutterstock
Luckin Coffee is fast approaching 10,000 stores across China following rapid nationwide expansion in the first three months of 2023.
The value and tech-focused coffee chain opened 1,167 sites in its first quarter to reach 9,381, according to weekly updates posted to its WeChat channel.
With an average of 13 new stores opened each day, Luckin Coffee has achieved 14% outlet growth on the 8,214 sites in operation at the end of 2022. Many of Luckin Coffee’s sites are delivery-only or pick-up points with little or no in-store seating.
Nonetheless, the outlet growth is more than double the number of stores the coffee chain opened in its first quarter of 2022 (556) and represents the highest rate of store openings since Luckin Coffee began operations in January 2018.
The coffee chain’s previous record for new stores opened during a three-month period was 651 in its third quarter of 2022.
The expansion follows Luckin Coffee’s recent franchise recruitment initiative, which it relaunched in December 2022. The coffee chain is seeking to expand franchise operations across 41 Chinese third and fourth-tier cities this year.
The outlet growth adds further daylight between Luckin Coffee and Starbucks, China’s second largest coffee chain with 6,090 stores as of the end of 2022.
Seattle-based Starbucks plans to increase its footprint in China by 50% to reach 9,000 outlets by 2025.
Luckin Coffee will also hope that its increasing store network will further bridge the revenue gap between the two coffee chains.
Starbucks reported sales in China falling 31% to $622m in the three months ended 1 January 2023. However, its revenues remain higher than Luckin Coffee’s $536m during the three months ended 31 December 31 2022, which represented a 52% increase for the Xiamen-based coffee chain.
In March 2023, Luckin Coffee commenced its international expansion by opening two pick-up stores in Singapore, the first of 10 stores planned across the country before the end of April 2022.
Indonesia and Thailand have been mooted as potential new markets for Luckin Coffee to enter later this year.