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Luckin Coffee reportedly preparing for international expansion

The largest coffee chain in China is reportedly seeking to expand in Southeast Asia, targeting the competitive coffee shop markets of Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand

The as-yet unconfirmed expansion plans would mark Luckin Coffee’s second attempt at entering international markets | Photo credit: via Shutterstock


China’s Luckin Coffee is reportedly considering international expansion this year, with Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand mooted as potential markets. 

Southeast Asian jobs website JobStreet showed Luckin Coffee advertising for store managers in Singapore at the start of January 2023, with Singaporean media company DealStreetAsia reporting negotiations between Luckin Coffee and new franchise partners in Thailand last year. 

The as-yet unconfirmed expansion plans would mark Luckin Coffee’s second attempt at entering international markets.  

In July 2019 the coffee chain signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint venture with Kuwaiti franchise firm, Americana Group, to launch the brand across the Middle East and India

The following year Luckin Coffee was rocked by financial scandal after fabricated sales of as much as $340m came to light in April 2020. The company replaced its senior management team in May 2020 and delisted from the Nasdaq in June of the same year. 

The reports of international store expansion follow Luckin’s increased focus on the Chinese market in the fourth quarter of 2022. 

After posting 66% year-on-year revenue growth to reach RMB 3.9bn ($547.5m) in its third quarter, Luckin Coffee announced plans to increase the number of franchised stores it operates across China. 

Currently 32% of the technology-led coffee chain’s 7,846 stores are franchise-operated.  

In December 2022, Luckin Coffee also commenced construction of a new $120m fully automated coffee bean roasting production facility in Jiangsu.  

The 53,000sqm site is expected to begin operations in 2024 and will have the capacity to process 30,000 tons of coffee beans annually.  

At the ground-breaking ceremony, CEO Guo Jinyi said the facility demonstrated Luckin Coffee’s continued focus on China's coffee market. 

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