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Luckin Coffee announces new unmanned retail strategy

Luckin Coffee has announced that the company is entering the unmanned retail market with the launch of its Luckin Coffee Express smart unmanned coffee machine and Luckin Pop Mini smart vending machine.

The Chinese company says these launches further increase the density of its network and bring Luckin Coffee closer to customers.

Luckin Coffee also disclosed that its number of self-operated stores had reached 4507 by the end of 2019, which the company believes makes it the largest coffee chain by number of stores in China. In addition, its number of cumulative transacting customers reached more than 40 million as of 31 December 2019.

Featuring Schaerer coffee machines, Luckin Coffee Express provides freshly brewed drinks with the same quality and taste as in Luckin stores.

The chain says Luckin Pop MiniI’s biggest attraction is “e-commerce prices in vending machines”. The unmanned terminals will cover locations including office buildings, campuses, airports, bus terminals, gas stations, highway service stations, and residential communities, supplementing the existing Luckin store network.

These terminals are fully integrated with Luckin’s technology systems, and are empowered by Internet of Things, big data, facial recognition, and other advanced technologies, which Luckin says will create new customers experience.

“Luckin Coffee’s unmanned retail network, store footprint, and e-commerce channels together form our proprietary omni-channel customer traffic network. With our value propositions of high quality, high affordability and high convenience, Luckin is rapidly becoming a well-recognised, on-trend, and mass market fast-moving consumer goods brand,” Luckin Coffee CEO Jenny Zhiya Qian says.

“Luckin Coffee is dedicated to building a closed-loop smart retail platform with our own customer traffic and our own products. We will continue to grow both own traffic and products, improve brand value, expand the scale of our platform, and create more value for our customers. Luckin Coffee is on track to realise our mission of being part of everyone’s life, starting with coffee.”

Luckin Coffee and 14 of its suppliers – including PepsiCo, Nestlé, Fonterra, Schaerer, Louis Dreyfus Company, Olam, China Oil and Foodstuffs Corporation, CJ, Yili, Mengniu, Orion Confectionery, and Calbee – participated in the ceremony launching Luckin Coffee’s unmanned retail strategy.

Luckin Coffee says its unmanned retail network eliminates payroll and decoration costs, lowers rental expenses significantly, and enjoys a better cost than that of small-format stores. As a result, it is able to become closer to customers at lower transaction costs whilst ensuring product quality.

Luckin Coffee says the unmanned retail strategy will fuel customer acquisition and increase customer purchase frequency at its locations.

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