Starbucks rival Luckin Coffee has rolled out a lineup of branded merchandise, including celebrity figurines and a limited edition cup with fawn antlers, on Monday.

Why it matters: This is the first time Luckin has sold such merchandise as it evolves its marketing and branding strategy.

  • The company aims to duplicate the success of its US rival Starbucks whose drinkware and other accessories are popular in China.
  • Starbuck’s cat paw cup caused in-store brawls earlier this year.
  • The company’s latest industrial and commercial update has added clothing, clocks, glasses, and shoes to its business scope.

Detail: The company also launched its store on both JD.com and Tmall. Demand for the cup with a fawn antler-shaped straw caused the ordering app to become unresponsive for many users.

  • The firm posted on microblogging platform Weibo asking customers to use alternative channels such as JD.com and Tmall for placing the orders.
  • The cup, based on the theme of  Luckin’s tea-drink brand Fawn Tea, isn’t cheap: RMB 139 (around $20).
  • Other items include black and white coffee mugs.
  • Virtual gift cards are slated for release next week.
  • Buyers of the cups or gift cards will also receive figurines of Liu Haoran, a Chinese celebrity and poster boy for Fawn Tea.

Context: The Chinese coffee chain upstart reported widening losses in the second quarter despite beating revenue expectations.

  • The company’s sales and marketing expenses were RMB 390.1 million, representing an increase of 119.1% from a year ago. The rise is mainly due to increases in advertising expenses and delivery expenses as the company launched new marketing initiatives and entered new cities.

Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.

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