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Yum China, Italy's Lavazza aim to open 1,000 cafes in China by 2025

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Lavazza coffee logo is seen outside the new opening of Lavazza's flagship coffee store downtown Milan
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MILAN (Reuters) - Chinese restaurant chain Yum China and Italian coffee maker Lavazza, which formed a partnership in 2020, aim to open 1,000 Lavazza cafés in China by 2025, they said on Thursday.

The two groups will inject $200 million initially into the joint venture to fund its future growth.

In addition, the joint venture will market, sell, and distribute Lavazza's retail products in mainland China under an exclusivity agreement.

The first Lavazza flagship store in Shanghai, the first store outside of Italy, opened its doors to customers in April 2020. Lavazza has since grown to over 20 stores in China across Shanghai, Hangzhou, Beijing and Guangzhou.

"The recent progress of Lavazza cafés in China has been encouraging and reaffirms our belief that our partnership is well positioned to capture the significant coffee opportunity in China with accelerated store network development," the CEO of Yum China, Joey Wat said.

The joint venture is owned by Yum China and Lavazza with stakes of 65% and 35%, respectively.

According to the Starbucks China website, the U.S. company has over 5,000 stores in 200 cities in mainland China.

($1 = $1.0000)

(Reporting by Francesca Landini; editing by David Evans)

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