BEIJING (PingWest) — China’s tea drink chain HEYTEA plans to double its stores in China, topping 800 in total by the end of 2020.
While other catering restaurants are closed down due to the big blow of COVID-19, HEYTEA accelerated its sprawl in central business districts urban areas.
The leading bubble tea chains only had more than 80 stores in 2017, most of which are in southern China, but the number of stores increased to 163 in 2018 and 390 stores in 43 cities across China.
Not only the number of HEYTEA’s stores soared, but many other bubble tea are expanding full steam.
“When the COVID-19 is under control in China, bubble tea stores will probably sea surge,” Da Long, CMO of tea brand Mixue Bingcheng, told Bullet Finance. “Too many restaurants closed down due to the pandemic, so the bubble tea market started to look for prospective brand,” Da Long said, adding that Mixue Bingcheng’s expansion is faster than he thought. “We normally received 10,000 phone calls each week consulting on opening franchised outlets, but we received 15,000 per week this year.”
HEYTEA has raised a new round of funding in March, 2020, valuing it at RMB16 billion ($2.25 billion), according to 36Kr. With new funding, the bubble tea brand has to open new stores to increase its value.