‘Starbucks of China’ Luckin Coffee coming to Singapore
Endorsed by Chinese Olympic star Eileen Gu, the brand, which boasts over 8,200 outlets in China, is set to open at Ngee Ann City, Marina Square and Guoco Tower.
China’s largest coffee chain Luckin Coffee is set to debut in Singapore three years after its shocking accounting scandal. Once considered a ‘unicorn’ start-up with a valuation of more than US$1 billion (S$1.34 billion), the Xiamen-based company born in 2017 was forced to delist from American stock exchange Nasdaq in 2020 after admitting to falsely inflating sales by over US$300 million.
The once-controversial company, now under new ownership and management, appears to be making a comeback – including an aggressive international expansion in Singapore. While details have not been disclosed, 8days.sg has spotted signs of the upcoming openings around the island.
According to Singaporean Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao, Luckin Coffee plans to open a total of ten outlets in Singapore by the end of April. This marks the chain’s first international expansion. In China, the coffee giant that’s dubbed “the Starbucks of China” by the media currently operates over 8,200 stores, surpassing the US chain, which has “more than 6,000 stores” in the country.
OUTLETS IN SINGAPORE
The Singapore debut includes an outlet outside Ngee Ann City, that is set to open in March, according to the shop’s hoarding as seen above. Interestingly, the brand’s font and colour scheme is similar to Facebook’s.
Also opening this month – a shop at Marina Square.
Another sign was spotted within Guoco Tower in Tanjong Pagar, where the cafe is slated to open in April.
OLYMPIC STAR POWER FROM EILEEN GU
The chain’s reboot got a boost from spokesperson, Chinese freestyle skiing Olympic champ Eileen Gu (also known as Gu Ailing). The 19-year-old became a breakout star at the 2022 Winter Olympics, where she took home two gold medals.
Her performance created such a buzz in China that Luckin Coffee sold out of drinks that were endorsed by the media darling (she also has brand deals with Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co) as fans clamoured for cup holders that bore her image.
Since then, the athlete has been a fixture in the chain’s marketing campaigns, including a recent appearance on an International Women’s Day poster. 8days.sg reached out to the brand to ask if Gu will make an appearance in Singapore for the launch, but has yet to receive a response.
LUCKIN’S TRENDY CREATIONS A HIT IN CHINA
Some of their hits include a Cheese Flavoured Latte (which sold over six million cups in the first week it launched according to the brand’s Weibo post) and its popular Coconut Milk Series, which features coffee-based and matcha lattes made with cold-pressed raw coconut milk. Stay tuned for more updates.
This story was originally published in 8Days.
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