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.