Luckin Coffee aims for 10,000 stores by the end of 2021

The chain has sealed a series of partnerships with foreign companies.

Trailblazing, loss-making coffee chain Luckin Coffee plans to open 10,000 store locations by the end of 2021, according to an article on the WeChat feed of Guanjian, a publisher that focuses on the food services industry.

That store count would be more than four times its 2,370 store locations across 20 Chinese cities as of March 2019, and builds upon the company’s ongoing plans to reach 4,500 stores by the end of this year.

Reaching the target of 10,000 stores would make Luckin’s footprint far larger than Starbucks’, China’s current leading coffee franchise, which had 3,700 stores in February 2019, and is aiming for 6,000 locations by 2022.

That said, Luckin’s stores tend to be smaller, sometimes without seating. It focuses on in-store pick-ups and delivery services, whereas Starbucks locations are more spacious and accommodating for sit-down customers.

The statement came during a conference in Xiamen, where the company is based. Luckin CEO Qian Zhiya celebrated a slew of partnerships, including with commodities and logistics giant Louis Dreyfus, Swiss coffee machine manufacturer Schaerer, South Korean food services conglomerate CJ Group, Japan’s largest coffee company UCC Holdings, France-based syrup and liqueur producer Monin, and logistics giant DHL.

Luckin listed on the Nasdaq on May 17, raising USD 692 million (RMB 4.8 billion), according to the company. It began trading at USD 25. Yesterday, it closed at USD 16.11.