Suning Xiaodian, the convenience store unit of Chinese retailer Suning.com, is testing the leisure beverage business with the launch of its first in-store coffee shop as the company looks to double down on its coffee market bet.

Why it matters: Coffee chains in China like Starbucks and Luckin face growing competition from the likes of Suning, which has an extensive offline presence.

Convenience stores are increasingly offering coffee-based beverages are entry-level pricing.

China’s coffee market size has grown to RMB 56.9 billion (around $8.01 billion) in 2018 from RMB 15.6 billion in 2013.

It is expected to grow 26.0% annually to reach RMB 180.6 billion in 2023, according to Frost & Sullivan.

In September, China’s state-owned gas and petrochemical conglomerate Sinopec rolled out a new coffee brand called EasyJet to approximately 50,000 convenience stores located in the company’s gas stations across the country.

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