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Luckin Coffee now has 3,348 locations in China as it closes in on Starbucks. Next stop: Middle East.

6 months ago by James Mattone in Markets

Luckin Coffee ($LUCKINCOFFEE), the Chinese coffee startup that just completed a successful IPO, is expanding out of its homeland and into the Middle East and Asia.

However, back in China, the company continues to open locations at staggering rates and has narrowed the gap between it and the international titan Starbucks ($NASDAQ:SBUX) to a thin margin.

Luckin opened 659 locations since we last covered the company in late April, bringing its total "store" count to 3,348 locations in China. At the time of its IPO, the company was on pace to add 8 stores per day and is still on that expansion tear, opening an average of 7.5 new locations per day from April 24 to July 20.

Luckin opened an average of 7.5 new locations per day between April 24 and July 20.

Meanwhile, as of July 3, Starbucks just eclipsed the 4,000 store count in China with 4,017 locations. Although Starbucks is still "winning" against Luckin in the young startup's home country, Luckin is quickly closing in. In April, Starbucks had over 1,000 locations on Luckin. Now in July, Luckin has cut the gap to under 700 locations.

There is a big caveat to Luckin's store count, however; most locations aren't neccesarily stores, but rather small kiosks where customers can pick up their orders or where the company can make orders for delivery. That's unlike Starbucks' model of its stores worldwide, as most of them are actual cafes where customers can sit inside with their cup of joe.

And right now, Luckin's planned expansion into the Greater Middle East puts it in a bigger war with Starbucks, who has already established control in places such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.

As Luckin prepares to jump across the continent, we'll see where they decide to crop up first... Or if they continue to expand both domestically and internationally in order to catch up to its American rival.

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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James Mattone

James is the Associate Editor at Thinknum Media, mainly covering video games, food, and tech news, but not afraid to head into Sephora or beauty brands if need be...

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