Tim Hortons China to open coffee shops in Metro stores in China

A man walks past a storefront poster announcing the opening of a cafe of the Canadian coffee and fast food chain Tim Hortons in Beijing, China, July 6, 2020. REUTERS / Thomas Peter / File Photo

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BEIJING, Nov. 29 (Reuters) – The Chinese branch of Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons on Monday announced that it had signed an agreement with Metro China to open cafes in the retailer’s stores as it expects coffee consumption to rise in the most populous country in the world.

Tims China announced that the first batch of seven Tims Go cafes, a compact store model with delivery services, opened in Metro China stores in four cities on Monday. Ultimately, it aims to extend the partnership to 60 cities.

Metro China, a joint venture of Wumart (WUMSY.PK) and Metro AG (B4B.DE), currently operates 99 stores.

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The latest openings mark the stores of Tims China, which plans to go public next year, to more than 335 stores in 20 Chinese cities, up from 137 stores at the start of the year.

“China is the world’s fastest growing coffee market,” Tims China President Peter Yu told Reuters.

“Last year, per capita coffee consumption in China was 5%, one twentieth of what it was in Japan and one thirtieth of what it was in Canada. So we think there is enormous leeway to bring ourselves and to help develop a coffee culture here. “

In August, Tims China said in an investor presentation filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission that it expects its stores in China to total more than 2,700 by 2026.

Yu said the COVID-19 pandemic has helped spur the growth of the coffee delivery industry.

“So having a smaller format like Tims Go allows us to grow faster,” he said.

Tims China, formed in 2019, is a joint venture of Restaurant Brands International (QSR.TO) and private equity firm Cartesian Capital Group, backed by Tencent and Sequoia Capital.

In August, Tims China announced that it had agreed to go public with a merger with blank check firm Silver Crest Acquisition Corp (SLCR.O), valuing the company at $ 1.69 billion, including debt. Read more

The company is “still doing everything possible” for the time being to close the deal in the first quarter of 2022, Yu said.

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Reporting by Sophie Yu and Brenda Goh; edited by Richard Pullin

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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