Popeyes to open first Chinese mainland store in Shanghai next week

Ding Yining
Fried chicken and snacks chain will open its first store on the Chinese mainland on Shanghai's Huaihai Road later this month as it looks to expand nationwide.
Ding Yining
Popeyes to open first   Chinese mainland store in Shanghai next week
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Popeyes' first China store on Huaihai Road. The chain aims to add 1,500 restaurants on the Chinese mainland over the next 10 years.

Fried chicken and snacks chain Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen aims to have 1,500 restaurants on the Chinese mainland in the next 10 years.

Its first store will open on Huaihai Road later this month.

Raphael Coelho, chief executive officer of Popeyes China, said the company aims to prioritize development in key markets such as Shanghai and surrounding cities instead of opening in all first-tiered cities at once.

"The coronavirus epidemic does not change our long-term strategy and long-term prospects for the business in China," he said.

The company is to launch a delivery service on WeChat and by working with a third party delivery platform in a few weeks.

Parent group Restaurant Brands International currently has 3,300 Popeyes restaurants in more than 25 countries.

Its fast food chain Burger King has more than 1,100 restaurants in China and its coffee chain Tim Hortons is also adding new locations in the domestic market.

Yum China has more than 6,500 KFC stores in China.

The number of western-style fast food restaurants in China by 2023 is estimated to be 65,100 with sales value expected to reach 93.3 billion yuan (US$13.1 billion), according to research firm Mintel.

The growth of western-style fast food sales in China would be around 2.6 percent a year between 2019 and 2023 as a result of competition from fast casual restaurants and Chinese-style fast food, and businesses will be focusing more on upgrading quality than just increasing quantity.

The growth pace is slowing from previous years when strong market growth was boosted by KFC and McDonald’s further localization and business expansion both online and offline. 

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