The closure of Milksha’s last Singapore store follows Flash Coffee and Spinelli Coffee’s departure amid growing competition and high costs in the city-state
Milksha opened its first outlets in Singapore in July 2019 | Photo credit: Milksha
Taiwanese bubble tea chain Milksha has become the latest café operator to cease operations in Singapore.
Milksha announced on social media that it closed its last store in Singapore at the Tampines 1 shopping centre on 31 December 2023 without citing reasons for exiting the market.
The bubble tea chain opened its first outlets in Singapore at the Suntec City Mall and Funan Mall shopping centres in July 2019 and grew to 10 outlets across the city-state.
Its exit from Singapore comes less than three months after technology-focused coffee chain Flash Coffee closed its 11 remaining stores in the country to cut costs and follows Spinelli Coffee’s exit from the market in December 2023.
While Singapore has attracted prominent branded coffee chains, such as Luckin Coffee, Fore Coffee and Tim Hortons, alongside boutique operators Café Kitsune and Ralph’s Coffee over the last 12 months, the wealthy city-state’s relatively small consumer base and high property costs create a challenging trading environment.
World Coffee Portal research forecasts the total branded coffee shop market will reach 1,000 stores in 2025 and 1,250 stores in 2028.
Founded in Tainan in 2007, Milksha has more than 200 outlets across Taiwan, where it operates as Milkshop, as well as international stores in Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan and the UK.
The brand is majority owned by Filipino foodservice group Jollibee Foods Corporation, which also operates The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Highlands Coffee and Common Man Coffee Roasters.