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Gong Cha closing down in S’pore, rebranding as LiHo

Organise bubble tea farewell party.

Belmont Lay | May 29, 2017 @ 09:52 am

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Say goodbye.

All 80 Gong Cha outlets in Singapore will be rebranded as LiHo by June 5, 2017.

This is according to The Straits Times on May 29.

Some of you might have already noticed the change, as currently, 30 outlets here have been rebranded. This include the outlets at Bugis Plus and VivoCity.

The Gong Cha Facebook page has already been shut down.

LiHo is Hokkien for, “How are you?”

This brave move to close down one of the most popular bubble tea chains in Singapore is a strategic business decision made by RTG Holdings, which manages Gong Cha locally.

Gong Cha’s parent company in Taiwan, Royal Tea Taiwan, was recently sold off to Gong Cha Korea, which in turn is owned by Japanese private equity firm Unison Capital.

This resulted in a change in contractual terms. Instead of abiding by the new terms, a decision was made to break away.

LiHo will be a made-in-Singapore creation with a new menu, including cheese tea drinks. It will rely on completely different suppliers for its tea and other raw ingredients, as well as using different methods of making its drinks.

Reactions to this change have been a mix of sadness and resignation:

The rebranding exercise will cost about S$1 million.

Gong Cha outlets make S$30 million in revenue annually.

 

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About Belmont Lay

Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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