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  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    263,654 posts since Dec '99
    • Gong Cha Singapore to be rebranded to LiHO, all 80 outlets to be renamed by June 5

       

      Fans of the popular bubble tea franchise Gong Cha will be in for a surprise this week. That’s because Gong Cha will be rebranded to LiHO (哩喝), which roughly translates to “How are you?”in Hokkien.

      According to a Straits Times interview with RTG Holdings General Manager Mr Rodney Tang, Gong Cha Singapore’s agreement had expired in 2016 and the new arrangement with the Taiwanese partners was more restrictive which lead to the decision to build LiHO from scratch.

      This means LiHO has to seek new suppliers for its tea and ingredients, although Mr Tang says LiHO teas will be similar, if not better, than Gong Cha’s recipe. The company will also be introducing new drinks such as cheese tea and smoothies soon.

      A quick search for Gong Cha Singapore Facebook page resulted in a broken link on the social media site and a new LiHO Singapore Facebook page has already been created a week ago.

       

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  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    263,654 posts since Dec '99
    • Bubble tea firm Gong Cha promises bigger, better comeback in Singapore

      Singapore's cup of bubble tea runneth over. The parent company behind popular brand Gong Cha said the chain is returning to the island's shores in the next several months in a "bigger, better, upgraded format".

      "We just want to make clear to our Singapore customers that we are not leaving the market and we plan to come back pretty soon," said Mr Kim Soomin, a partner at Japanese private equity firm Unison Capital, in an interview with The Straits Times.

      Unison Capital co-owns the Gong Cha brand with Royal Tea Taiwan, the founder.

      "Together with Korea and Taiwan, Singapore is one of the most strategically important and successful markets for Gong Cha's growth so there's no way we want to leave," said Mr Kim.

      He added that the company has not set a target for the number of outlets it plans to open by the end of the year. "As many as we can. We are not in a rush to grow in terms of quantity."

      The announcement comes after the conversion of all 80 Gong Cha stores here to LiHo outlets. The move was completed on Monday by RTG Holdings, which brought Gong Cha here in 2009 and expanded it islandwide.

      Just before the conversion, the Gong Cha Singapore outlets were raking in about S$30 million in annual revenue, making the country one of the top three contributors to Gong Cha's overall turnover, which stood at over US$70 million (S$96.6 million) last year.

      Including those 80 outlets, there were about 1,400 Gong Cha outlets worldwide.

      RTG managing director Rodney Tang decided to leave the Gong Cha franchise and launch LiHo when he learnt that Royal Tea Taiwan had been sold to Unison Capital without his knowledge.

      He had also found the terms for an agreement to renew his Gong Cha franchising licence more restrictive, with clauses that would have affected his ability to manage RTG's other brands effectively.

      RTG's portfolio includes Nene Chicken, Korean barbecue chain Bornga and Paik's Bibim.

      Mr Tang told The Straits Times yesterday he was glad to hear that Gong Cha would be returning to Singapore. "The brand has a special place in the hearts of Singaporeans and I wish them all the best making it as big as we did in the last eight years."

      Mr Kim said: "We had a tremendous relationship with Rodney. It's sad that things didn't work out and we had to terminate that relationship, but I think both parties have to move on. "We are not here to compete with LiHo. It is not LiHo versus Gong Cha."

      Unison Capital and Royal Tea Taiwan are still in talks with various potential partners for Gong Cha's Singapore comeback and they have not yet decided whether it will return as a franchise again, or be directly-owned.

      "We've had multiple enquiries since the news broke, from potential business partners ranging from individuals to food and beverage companies that already have business operations in Singapore and some financial investors too," Mr Kim said.

      Whatever the business model, he added, the brand will be focused on what customers want. "First, we'll bring back what Singaporean customers loved about Gong Cha. On top of our Singapore experience we are also operating in Korea, Taiwan and Japan, so we have accumulated a lot of experience and know how," he said.

      "So next, I think it's time to bring new colour to the Singapore market, for example, by introducing a more modern look to our stores and logo and a new menu which we'll customise for Singapore customers."

       

      ST

  • Littletinkerscafe's Avatar
    3 posts since Jun '17
  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    263,654 posts since Dec '99
    • The Life Interview with Rodney Tang: LiHO boss sold his flat to start first Gong Cha outlet http://str.sg/4R5z 

    • Gong Cha announces come back in S'pore 'very soon'

       

      Brace yourself, bubble tea lovers, for Gong Cha is coming back to the sunny island of Singapore 'very soon'. 

      This was announced by Gong Cha Singapore latest update on their Facebook page on July 24 which teased:

      “To all our fans in Singapore, we look forward to serving you your favourite bubble tea very soon…”

      This comes after every single one of the over 80 Gong Cha outlets in Singapore was converted to the homegrown brand, LiHO, in June, reports Coconuts Singapore

      However, barely a month later, Gong Cha Singapore announced its comeback on Facebook, promising a ‘bigger, better, upgraded format’. 

      Fans have responded positively to the news, with some netizens rejoicing over the announcements.

      Said a Facebook user, Dionis:

      “All time favourite, please come (back)!

      “I really miss it.”

      Regardless of how you feel about the news, it seems that there will more choices for bubble tea fans down the road.  

       

      stomp

    • Mr Bean's ex-MD bringing Gong Cha back to Singapore http://str.sg/4zRj 

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