Beijing — Chinese coffee start-up Luckin is aiming to open 2,500 new stores in 2019 and overtake Starbucks as the largest coffee chain by number of outlets in the world’s second-biggest economy, it said on Thursday. The firm, which only officially launched its business at the start of 2018, has expanded at breakneck speed, propelled by a focus on technology, delivery and heavy discounting even at the cost of mounting losses. “What we want at the moment is scale and speed,” Luckin’s chief marketing officer, Yang Fei, told reporters on Thursday at a presentation in Beijing. “There’s no point talking about profit,” he said, adding that subsidies to lure in more users would be an important part of the firm’s strategy for the next few years. Luckin says it is targeting a total of more than 4,500 stores by the end of 2019, which would take it past Seattle-based Starbucks that has long dominated China’s coffee scene and has more than 3,600 stores in the country. Luckin’s caffeine-fuelled e...

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