The coffee startup, which has managed exorbitant growth since its founding just one year ago, has said it plans to open 2,500 new stores this year and become the largest coffee chain in China by number of outlets, replacing global leader Starbucks at the top spot.
If the targets are met, Luckin will have over 4,500 stores by the end of 2019, compared with Starbucks 3,600 across China, according to Reuters.
Luckin’s rapid expansion has been facilitated in large part by its willingness to offer heavy discounts and swallow short-term losses. “What we want at the moment is scale and speed,” said chief marketing officer Yang Fei.
“There’s no point talking about profit,” said Yang, adding that the company will continue to leverage subsidies in the near future as it grabs more market share.
Luckin posted a Rmb 800 million ($116.34 million) loss in 2018, but remains attractive to investors. In December the company raised $200 million in fresh capital and is currently valued at $2.2 billion.