Louisa officially surpasses Starbucks in number of Taiwan locations

Louisa now boasts 489 branch locations in Taiwan compared to Starbucks' 480

Louisa currently has more locations in Taiwan than Starbucks. (Louisa photo)

Louisa currently has more locations in Taiwan than Starbucks. (Louisa photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Louisa (路易莎) has officially opened more locations on the island than the internationally famous Starbucks as the surging coffeehouse chain seeks to take over the country's coffee market.

According to UDN, Louisa currently has a total of 489 stores in Taiwan, topping Starbucks' 480 after the latter ended operations at 10 of its locations this year. Following the closing of two Starbucks in New Taipei's Yonghe District, the 20-year-old Zhongshan location has also announced that it would bid customers farewell on Jan. 2.

Starbucks said that it has launched a delivery service this month to boost clientele and that its total gross revenue still leads all other coffee brands in Taiwan. Regarding its competitor Louisa, Starbucks said the two companies have different brand positioning, so it is difficult to discern which one is better.

Founded by Huang Mingxian (黃銘賢) in 2006, Louisa started as a small cafe in Songshan District, Taipei and did not launch franchise operations until 2012. Huang told CNA that he used to work for Starbucks as a barista and that he named his brand after the "Italian goddess of the sea," who became the company's logo.

Huang expects Louisa to reach 540 stores in 2020, with "steady growth" as its main strategy for the new year. He added that he wanted to establish a multi-dimensional community-oriented coffee chain that can portray the hospitality and warmth of the Taiwanese people.

Louisa's name and logo inspired by Italian goddess of the sea. (Louisa photo)