Urban Tea to roll out stores in Mainland China under three banners

Chinese beverage and baked-goods retailer Urban Tea says it plans expansion from the middle of this year.

The company will expand its network to 28 stores initially, through a combination of franchise partnerships and opening its own stores, with plans to speed up the rollout next year.

Last October, Urban Tea set up a subsidiary company Shanghai Ming Yun Tang Tea, which controls Hunan Ming Yun Tang Brand Management Co (Hunan MYT), to focus on catering, along with health, training, retail and wholesale. Headquartered in the Changsha Xingingmen Fanchen International Center, Hunan MYT will integrate strategic brand positioning, offline operations, store management and brand marketing – all which will be used to expand the planned retail cafe network.

Hunan MYT will operate stores under three brands: Buoyance Manor, Your Ladyship Tea (pictured) and Meet Honey. Buoyance Manor mainly features bakery products and coffee. Your Ladyship Tea sells specialty teas and light snacks and Meet Honey will primarily sell snacks and kitchen goods such as coffee mugs and tea cups.

Currently, the company operates seven stores itself in Hunan province branded Buoyance Manor, along with a tea shop in Changsha Youyou Township.

Urban Tea plans to focus on health and nutrition, using fresh, green, high-quality ingredients, positioning itself as an “all-natural baker”. Beverages offered include milk teas, fresh fruit teas and coffee.

Light meals include salads, sandwiches, tacos, pizza, pastas and other meals primarily drawing from French cuisine and other western cuisines, and emphasising healthy meals and fresh ingredients.

The company says it has established a research-and-development centre and will place an emphasis on seasonal research and product development, by picking fresh fruits, using seasonal tea, and using in season grains.

“By offering seasonal menus we ensure fresh delivery to meet customers health and dietary needs to cultivate long term customers,” the company said in a statement.

Urban Tea CFO Kan Lu said: “Our professional operations and R&D teams have many years of industry experience. We desire to make every product uniquely impressive to our customers, and bring consumers fresh, healthy and beautiful food and beverages.”

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