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murrayjames

luckin coffee is pretty good

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laomao
On 6/28/2019 at 8:55 PM, Lu said:

This makes me wonder if Starbucks is going to be banned, as happened to Google for Baidu and to Facebook for... Chinese social networks.

I really believe that this is the case. It's a pretty good business plan (and one we've seen many times before): let someone else do all the preliminary entry-to-market stuff, create consumers, then watch them get banned and take all the market share. Ideally then spin a story about how you're a really innovative company for creating such an amazing product and either claim the non-chinese company is evil or just pretend it never existed. 

 

I went to Luckin yesterday, it was okay, nothing special. They messed up the order first but then put it right.

 

Totally agree that Luckin Coffee is a stupid name. A friend was visiting and was SHOCKED that there was a coffee shop called Fuckin Coffee. I suspect the name was created by non-native english speakers and I would put money on there not being a focus group that involved native english speakers - but then, I don't think the target market is anything other than mainland chinese, so why do they care if the name sounds a bit weird? 

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mackie1402
1 hour ago, laomao said:

I don't think the target market is anything other than mainland chinese, so why do they care if the name sounds a bit weird? 

 

Another funny note regarding coffee shop names. I know Costa hasn't got the most fans in this thread, but personally I like it. I much prefer their flavoured lattes and hot chocolate. I noticed in Hangzhou all of the Costa's kept getting shut down. I couldn't really understand why, but then my wife pointed something out. She said:

"Most Chinese don't even know about Costa coffee, because it doesn't have a Chinese name. It's too difficult to say for some people. That's why everyone just goes and meets at places like Starbucks because they can say the Chinese name." This is quite true! I finally noticed that at Shanghai Hongqiao train station the Costa finally has a Chinese name under their logo now. I wonder if they're trying something new, but as for the rest of the shops around Hangzhou, there's still zero Chinese branding. 

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murrayjames
18 hours ago, mackie1402 said:

Just wanted to say this thread has cost me a couple hundred RMB since it started. 😫

 

I started this thread four days ago. How much coffee are you drinking?!? 🤪

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mackie1402
Just now, murrayjames said:

I started this thread four days ago. How much coffee are you drinking?!? 🤪

 

Haha the problem I have is the food! I find it too cheap to say no! Every day I get a couple of coffees, a couple of croissants and sometimes a salad! 

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ChTTay

I can’t see them banning Starbucks. Comparing a physical store that’s already got a massive presence to online websites doesn’t really work for me.

 

Things like KFC, McDonalds and Pizza Hut have all been around longer. They didn’t ban KFC to give DICOS a free run with deep fried chicken. 

 

Originally all Chinese Starbucks were also franchises (or licensed) and actually owned by Chinese companies. Starbucks has negotiated to buy back shares but, in that event, they’ve become partners with the Chinese company. 

 

Anyway, every time I come to this thread I want to go to Luckin. The sandwiches are decent but quite small! Will try a salad one day 

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Lu
1 hour ago, ChTTay said:

I can’t see them banning Starbucks. Comparing a physical store that’s already got a massive presence to online websites doesn’t really work for me.

I remember that time when a big uproar was created over the presence of a Starbucks in the Forbidden City. That Starbucks closed. So perhaps not banning it like a website, but whipping up a boycot. Or perhaps I am too pessimistic, it's quite possible you are right and Luckin will just compete in a more regular way.

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ChTTay

Seems pretty normal not to want a Starbucks in your national monuments. I still don’t see a big correlation there. I would say that if the US China trade war gets any more intense / serious then maybe they could be a backlash against US companies. Hard to say for sure which ones those would be. Starbucks might play up the fact they’re majority Chinese owned in China. 

 

The backlash against Japanese goods a while back focused a lot of energy against UNIQLO but not so much other brands. 

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imron
33 minutes ago, Lu said:

That Starbucks closed.

And was replaced by a Chinese imitation Starbucks that wasn't as good.  See here for how it all went down.

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mungouk
4 hours ago, ChTTay said:

They didn’t ban KFC to give DICOS a free run with deep fried chicken. 

 

KFC is also the most popular western food brand in China, so it wouldn't go down too well.

 

 

 

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roddy
2 hours ago, imron said:

See here for how it all went down.

I am genuinely still annoyed about that. At the time the place was crawling with fake art-student gallery touts, and they decide a discrete cafe is the most urgent issue.

 

There's no need to ban foreign competitors when they want rid. They'll just get very very enthusiastic about checking their taxes. 

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somethingfunny

Do they actually make the coffee with a steam-driven espresso machine like in Starbucks?  Surely they could just have one guy operating an automatic bean-to-cup machine and because everyone is drinking it out of paper cups while they're busy thinking about something else nobody would notice the difference.  Even those nespresso pod machines make a comparable coffee when you're not really thinking about the taste or experience.

 

It might be a bit pretentious, and full of bearded hipsters, but the independent coffee available in London and other major cities is actually quite special.  I wonder how long until that catches on in China.  It sounds like craft beer has really taken off in Beijing, so surely there is some appetite for that way of doing things.  Fuckin' Coffee sounds like a step in the opposite direction.

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ChTTay
8 hours ago, mungouk said:

KFC is also the most popular western food brand

Just replace KFC with Starbucks and food with coffee.

7 hours ago, somethingfunny said:

independent coffee available in London and other major cities is actually quite special.  

This has already happened in Beijing and Shanghai. Big Small and Metal Hands spring to mind in Beijing. 

 

And yeah, Luckin’ uses espresso machines. It’s not a KFC push button latte. 

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murrayjames

There’s been a pricing/purchasing change in the past week.

 

Before, when buying a coffee for pick-up on the Luckin iOS app, I usually received a discount. Some of these discounts were considerable. A couple times I paid just over 10 kuai (5.5折) for a decent iced Americano.

 

Sadly, those days are gone. Since updating the app earlier this week, there are no more coupons. Luckin is instead offering ten free drinks to customers who fill a “coffee wallet.” To do this, customers must pre-buy ten coffees at a time. It’s a novel twist on the old Buy-Ten-Get-One-Free customer loyalty ploy.

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ChTTay

Isn’t this just based on if you’re a new user or not? 

 

I had  a lot of discounts for a while then they just stopped once I’d used the app for a while. Not related to the update as there wasn’t one at that time.

 

The same thing happened when I was a new user with Didi. They gave a lot of discounts at the start then gradually gave none. 

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murrayjames
53 minutes ago, ChTTay said:

Isn’t this just based on if you’re a new user or not? 

 

The coupons stopped appearing the same day I updated the app. Perhaps this is a coincidence, perhaps not. It is difficult to say because the pricing algorithms are completely opaque from a user’s perspective.

 

The Pre-Buy-Ten-Drinks-To-Fill-Your-Coffee-Wallet promotion is almost certainly tied to the update. Once you update, you get a new splash page, promotional graphics, and quotes advertising the change.

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ChTTay

Maybe. I guess giving out discounts etc in the beginning of a new(ish) business is a classic strategy. Since I’ve moved a little bit away from Luckin I can’t get delivery anymore so I don’t go as much. Also, the fact I can’t use my own cup means I’m wanting to go there less. I’ve been going to an independent cafe nearby.  As mentioned, find that Costa’s coffee is just weak and just doesn’t taste great. I had a 200rmb discount so did some work in there over the last few weeks. 

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imron
8 hours ago, murrayjames said:

Sadly, those days are gone...... To do this, customers must pre-buy ten coffees at a time.

First they were burning through investor cash giving discounts to gain new customers, now, they are hoping those new users to give them a cash injection by pre-buying coffee - probably to give new users discounts.

 

Welcome to the Ponzi Scheme :mrgreen:

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DavyJonesLocker
2 hours ago, imron said:

First they were burning through investor cash giving discounts to gain new customers, now, they are hoping those new users to give them a cash injection by pre-buying coffee - probably to give new users discounts.

 

 

not much different than any 会员卡 that operates in China though, My blind massage place, hairdresser, gym all do that. Prepay and recieve 10-20% discount  

 

I yesterday bought a new gym membership 4300 for one year, or 5300 for 2years (and 3 months added on). I understand gyms wanting money upfront (and relying on people not going) but with a coffee shop, 10 coffees and most would get that though that in 2 weeks so in reality a very short term cash injection. That is more like a user encouragement scheme I'd say . 

 

I think their business model is good , coffee is no longer a luxary item. Its stock standard product now and price is a primary driver (if tastes acceptbale) 

 

Starbucks rewards are next to useless. I half the time don't bother showing the QR code on the APP as its things like 10% of ridiculously over price moon cakes etc  

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vellocet

Luckin just MOVED IN to town about a month or two ago.  One day I had never heard of them, the next day everyone's talking about them and there are ads everywhere.  Too bad they seem to be only delivery coffee, the one shop I saw didn't even have any seats.  Strange considering that half of Starbucks business model (and most other cafes as well) seems to be a place to hang out while you have your coffee.  A public house of sorts.  

 

On 6/27/2019 at 8:42 PM, DavyJonesLocker said:

The Starbucks reserve counter seems to be a a bit of disaster  for them. Don't think I've even seen one customer use them in the places I go to. 

 Mind you not sure what they were thinking charging up to 70kuai for a coffee!

Starbucks isn't selling coffee, what they're selling is status.  Take someone up to the special counter, order the coffee, presto.  The other person - plus all the strangers at the cafe - are impressed.  And all it cost was money?

 

Don't poo-poo this sort of thing.  It's really important to a lot of humans.  Lots of companies sell status: you probably own several of their products.  

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DavyJonesLocker
1 hour ago, vellocet said:

Starbucks isn't selling coffee, what they're selling is status.  Take someone up to the special counter, order the coffee, presto.  The other person - plus all the strangers at the cafe - are impressed.  And all it cost was money?

  

Don't poo-poo this sort of thing.  It's really important to a lot of humans.  Lots of companies sell status: you probably own several of their products.  

 

 

it's (the reserve counter) a failure when you don't see one person ever ordering one reserve coffee. I highly doubt their total sales went up when the reserve counter came in, or enough to even recover costs. I think they just tried to create a new market that simply wasn't there. Seems like quite simply a bad business model made at the board level. I daresay it will be ditched in a few years.

 

 

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