Its name is Luckin Coffee, it has opened about 500 outlets since its launch earlier this year, and it is reported to be worth over $1 billion, making it China’s first coffee unicorn.
Naturally, Luckin doesn’t have cash registers and you have to order through their app and pay through China’s mobile panopticon of WeChat/Alipay or the company’s own payment function.
“My take is their big weapon is digital + lower prices + tons of locations,” according to Towson. Is this the Starbucks killer?
Luckin Coffee has the stated goal of beating Starbucks, but even without doing that, they can potentially build a profitable business by getting more Chinese to drink coffee. The current per capita average is four to five cups per year.