Vantage Point: Reading between the lines of Flash Coffee’s Singapore exit

Vantage Point: Reading between the lines of Flash Coffee’s Singapore exit

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Executive Summary

  • Closure of SG operations reflects poorly on Flash Coffee’s management
  • Scarcity of geothermal companies bodes well for Barito Renewables
  • New backer KakaoBank will give an edge to Grab’s Superbank
  • Can rivals step in quickly as TikTok Shop scripts comeback plan?

Closure of Singapore operations reflects poorly on Flash Coffee’s management

The news last week that Flash Coffee will shutter its operations in Singapore, to double down on more “promising markets” should come as no surprise. The liquidation reflects poorly on the company’s management given that it seems it was due to poor financial management of operations in the country.

The grab-and-go coffee chain shut down 10 stores in Taiwan early this year after closing two in Japan about one and a half years ago. In Singapore, several Flash Coffee outlets were also visibly shut or non-operational, raising speculation that the firm might pull out of the country completely.

The company had issues with both scale and costs in Singapore, where it only had 11 stores. It also faced rising competition as Singapore recently witnessed the arrival of the Indonesian coffee chains Kopi Kenangan, Fore, and Chinese coffee chain Luckin Coffee.

Flash Coffee has around 200 stores globally and will focus on its other markets including Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong and South Korea, which it terms as its “most promising”. At one point, it had nearly 250 stores and 1,400 employees across the region. 

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