Luckin Coffee has announced the launch of Luckin Tea as an independent brand, as well as a pilot program for its retail partnership model to recruit partners nationwide. “We have experienced strong growth of our Luckin Tea series since the initial launch in April 2019, which is far beyond company’s expectations,” says Jian Liu, Chief Operating Officer of Luckin Coffee. “To further capitalise on the opportunity in the freshly-brewed tea market, we are strategically launching Luckin Tea as an independent and complementary brand and rolling out the store footprint nationwide. We will continue to maintain the high growth of the coffee business, while taking the tea drinks as another important driver to further explore the breadth and depth of the market.” The company expects, according Liu, both Luckin Tea and Luckin Coffee stores to function in complementary roles. Luckin Tea stores will sell a standard range of coffee, with a broader assortment of freshly-brewed tea drinks. In addition, Luckin Tea stores will focus more on “leisurely” consumption moments, targeting locations in shopping malls and other lifestyle-centric commercial areas, while Luckin Coffee stores will continue to expand its presence primarily in office locations. Luckin Coffee also announced its pilot retail partnership model to support the expansion of Luckin Tea. “The launch of both our independent Luckin Tea brand and retail partnership model will significantly bolster our current operational capabilities. Through these initiatives, we will cover more cities while substantially improve the number of transacting customers, purchase frequency, and operational efficiency,” Liu says. According to industry sources, Luckin’s well-recognized brand, pioneering technology, strong operational capabilities, capital strength, as well as established supply chain and nationwide store network have enabled it to become one of the largest players in China’s freshly-brewed tea drinks market. By launching an independent Luckin Tea brand and Retail Partnership model, the Company will continue to accelerate its expansion into lower-tier cities while further increasing its overall market share throughout China. Follow Global Coffee Report on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for up-to-date news and analysis of the global coffee industry.