When Starbucks came to China, it promised to open a new store every 15 hours. Luckin Coffee opens a new shop every four hours.

Luckin Coffee burst onto China’s coffee scene in January 2018 when the company opened its first store. Since then, Luckin has expanded to 2,000 stores in 21 cities across China, serving up more than 85 million cups of coffee to a customer base some 12 million strong.

It is too soon to say whether Luckin Coffee will be successful in its bid to challenge Starbucks. Luckin’s expansion has been astonishing, its price point is more appealing and its delivery service has filled an unmet need. Starbucks is responding with a delivery service of its own, and continues to rely on its more upmarket position to justify higher prices.

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Deborah Weinswig

Deborah Weinswig is CEO and Founder of Coresight Research, a research and advisory firm that provides future-focused analysis and consulting on the intersection of retail, technology, and fashion. Deborah...