Luckin: Rising from the Ashes

Chao Liang, Qiong Zhu

Research output: Other contributionCase Studies


Any company might one day face the test of a grave crisis that puts its very existence at risk. How can it survive the darkest moments and rise from the ashes? What is key to a company's longevity? The case of Luckin provides one possible answer. This case illustrated changes in Luckin's corporate strategy, business model, and operations strategy after its accounting fraud scandal. Luckin had previously adopted an aggressive expansion strategy. This approach featured prolific store openings, huge levels of financing, big customer discounts, and operations supported by a data-driven "new retail" system that acquired customers online and delivered products and services offline. This signature system took Luckin years to develop and refine. Customers didn't instantly abandon Luckin the aftermath of the scandal. Instead, customers rushed to Luckin stores to use up all their coupons just in case the company went out of business. While ensuring its stores could continue operating normally to keep up with this surge in demand, Luckin's new management team suspended its previous strategy and pivoted towards business performance. It focused on younger consumers and refined its operations strategy. The company launched new initiatives, including establishing private-domain traffic, introducing new products rigorously, and finetuning store operations to drive continued improvements in business performance. In August 2022, Luckin claimed to have "risen from the ashes and completely reinvented itself" as it announced second-quarter earnings. At that point in time, however, China's coffee segment was witnessing many emerging brands backed by deep-pocketed investors. Could Luckin sustain its growth amid such competition? How could it stay competitive?
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2023

Case number


Case normative number


Case type

Field Case

Update date



For more details, please visit

Published by

China Europe International Business School


  • operations strategy
  • coffee
  • new retail model
  • digital operations
  • hit products
  • digital product R&D

Case studies discipline

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Operations & Management Science
  • Strategy

Case studies industry

  • Accommodation & Food Services
  • Information, Media & Telecommunications
  • Retail Trade


Dive into the research topics of 'Luckin: Rising from the Ashes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this