Tealive has opened its 600th store in Malaysia and plans to have 400 more new stores within the next three years. According to Tealive, the confidence comes from its “strong brand loyalty and continued focus on customer convenience and digital strategy”.
For store 600, based in Gelang Patah in Johor, the brand has now opened up a host of promotions. Founder and CEO Bryan Loo added that the brand is looking to open up at least 130 to 150 outlets a year, mainly in Johor, East Coast and Sabah, and Sarawak. Tealive now has 10 drive-through outlets and over 100 drive-in shops where customers can order ahead and park at dedicated bays for the drinks to be served to them in their cars.
“When the pandemic hit, we transformed ourselves quickly to launch our own bubble tea online e-commerce platform,” he said, adding that the brand was one of the earliest to launch a DIY bubble tea kit. This later won the brand the Gold for MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s Asia eCommerce Awards and silver for the Marketing Excellence Awards. Loo added that the brand plans to focus on digitalising the business and prioritising customer convenience including various cashless and contactless ordering channels – scan to order, order ahead and drive-in model across the store network.
To date, it has formed numerous partnerships such as its collaboration with Affin Bank for the first bubble tea shop in a bank branch and it has also worked with Petronas Dagangan to set up Tealive stores inside Petronas Kedai Mesra shops since 2019.
At the store level, convenience also extended to the current Tealive 3.0 format featuring a dedicated bakery corner, Tealive Eats, and self-order standees at the entrance where customers could order and pay online before going in to pick up their orders.
In January, Tealive collaborated with Touch-n-Go to provide an “app-in-app” platform integrated with the e-wallet. It quickly became the top drinks brand transacted on Touch-n-Go e-wallet with over 200,000 transactions completed.
Innovation, Loo said, was also through brand extension into the FMCG segment as Tealive has shown its capabilities in extending beyond drinks. So far, it has collaborated with Walls to offer Boba Ice Cream and with Mamee Double Decker to bring the world’s first boba instant noodle.
“We have just embarked on an exclusive collaboration with Minor Figures, UK’s biggest oat milk brand, to elevate our brand proposition and become not just trendy but closer to global drink trends. We’re not only infusing oat milk into our drinks but also offering this wholesome alternative milk to customers who’re vegan or lactose intolerant,” he said.
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