(Yicai Global) Feb. 26 -- Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons cut the ribbon on its first China outlet today to signal its entry into the fray between the US Starbucks and its new local nemesis, the upstart startup Luckin Coffee.
The coffee shop is near People's Square in downtown Shanghai.
The Oakville, Ontario-based firm decided to land in China and planned to open more than 1,500 stores in the country in 10 years, it announced in July. The company has posted recruitment information since January for baristas, waiters and waitresses and information technology and human resources managers, the job-search website of Shanghai firm 51job shows.
Canadian hockey legend Tim Horton founded the chain in 1964. It now has more than 4,800 venues worldwide, mostly in North America.
Chinese contender Luckin Coffee plans to open 2,500 locations in the country to leapfrog the Seattle, US-based multinational.
In a further intrusion into this multiparty rivalry, the Coca-Cola Company bought Costa Coffee in August and later unveiled its plan to have 800 new Costa stores pop up in China before 2022.
The country's seemingly unquenchable thirst for java may soon find its limit, however, at which point some of these players may have to, well, wake up and smell the coffee.
Editor: Ben Armour