Tim Hortons China has completed a new fundraising round from Sequoia Capital China, Tencent Holdings and Eastern Bell Capital, and is planning to add more than 200 shops to its network this year, the coffee chain operator has said.
The Toronto-based firm, which competes with Starbucks Corp and Coca-Cola's Costa Coffee in China, did not disclose how much cash it has raised, but said that the funds will be channelled into building more outlets as well as its digital infrastructure and brand.
It also plans to enter the coffee retail market this year, which could involve opening a store on Alibaba Group's Tmall online marketplace, the chain said.
Tim Hortons has opened more than 150 shops in ten cities since it entered China two years ago, calling them "profitable", but domestic proprietors have complained of tough price competition.
Independent food industry analyst Zhu Danpeng said that the expansion plans suggest that the chain is doing fine in a crowded market, but it has to improve its brand positioning.
"Tim Hortons currently has not much difference with other multi-international coffee chains like Starbucks and Costa," he said.
Sought To Appeal To Local Taste Buds
The coffee chain has sought to appeal to local tastebuds with drink options such as lemon peach oolong tea and hot sandwiches, alongside its usual offerings such as donuts.