Starbucks to close all Teavana locations, including five in Tampa Bay

Jul 29, 2017, 00:33

Across the country, food traffic many malls and food courts (where most Teavana locations are found) has been steadily declining.

While Teavana products are now for sale in every Starbucks cafe, including fruit-infused iced teas, the company announced this week that it will be closing the remaining Teavana retail stores over the coming year. Some 3,000 workers will lose their jobs but Starbucks says it's encouraging employees to apply for Starbucks positions.

"The company concluded that despite efforts to reverse the trend through creative merchandising and new store designs, the underperformance was likely to continue", Starbucks said in a press release.

The Seattle-based coffee chain acquired Teavana in 2012.

Coffee is king. Tea is an also-ran. Starbucks brought the Teavana brand into Starbucks locations, held on to Teavana's own retail stores, and even opened a few high-end Teavana Fine Teas Tea Bars.

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While DavidsTea does have mall-based locations, the company doesn't restrict itself like Teavana does.

"(Starbucks') long-term forecast for mid-single digit global comparable sales growth, double digit revenue growth and 15-20 percent earnings growth may no longer be a realistic target", analysts at Wedbush Securities said. And its tea business has grown 40% in the five years since it launched Teavana in the U.S.

In some respects, Mr. Schultz was correct in his prediction, with tea becoming a large, fast-growing category and a key addressable market and core focus for Starbucks. Many of them will be shut down by next spring.

Starbucks is making moves over in China at the moment.

Teavana hot and iced teas will still be sold in Starbucks' namesake stores. Starbucks stock fell 5.6 percent on the announcement.

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