The article was originally published in Chinese on Momentum Works’ official account on Wechat 墨腾创投, translated into English by MW team.

Recently, Luckin Coffee opened a new store near Momentum Works’ office in Singapore. 

This store follows a similar format to a typical Luckin store in China – it is located in a mall above the One-north MRT station on the Circle line, with a significant daily commuter flow

Nearby are major tech companies like Sea, Shopee, and Grab (though the staff numbers have decreased due to layoffs).

Situated near major tech companies, the dining and leisure options around this location are limited, and it is somewhat far from the city centre – though Singapore isn’t that big. 

It reminds people of tech-hubs in China like Pudong Zhangjiang (浦东张江) and Puxi Caohejing (浦西漕河泾) in Shanghai, Yuhang (余杭) in Hangzhou, and Xierqi (西二旗) in Beijing, except the fact that Singapore doesn’t have as many techies. 

There are quite a few coffee shops in the nearby mall, including Starbucks which has been there for a very long time. 

You can see that the store space of Luckin isn’t large, only leaving a narrow aisle for customers to pick up their orders. Its design is quite different from a few other Luckin stores located in popular malls in Singapore.

When this store opened three weeks ago, it was extremely popular, attracting many people to download the app – seemingly surpassing the initial popularity of other stores in the downtown areas.

Our colleagues who ordered during lunch time had to wait until 3-4 pm to get their coffee. The store was so busy that the four staff in the store were swamped, with another staff outside teaching people how to order through the app. 

The local coffee shops Huggs and Tiong Hoe across the street seemed a bit awkward in comparison:

And the neighboring Starbucks appeared less busy after lunch.

Luckin Coffee’s app download count consistently tops the charts in Singapore – and this store’s ID number is the 00023rd. Three weeks after its opening, you can still see a steady customer flow on weekdays even though the order volume is not as high as when it first started.

Reflecting on the competitive coffee market in Singapore – Flash Coffee, which tried to emulate Luckin’s model, recently went out of business. Yet, Luckin’s expansion is still in full swing, with plans to open in more remote areas of the western region in Singapore, like the Westgate Mall.



More insights

Momentum Academy has also condensed some of the learnings from Luckin’s innovations into “Sip, Innovate, Repeat” immersive workshop on coffee and bubble tea. 

You can contact [email protected] if you are interested in bringing such learnings to your organisation. 

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].