Teavana announced on Thursday that it will close almost all of its 379 locations by spring 2018. There are 17 stores here in New York State including locations in Destiny USA in Syracuse, the Eastview Mall in Victor, Walden Galleria in Buffalo, Boulevard Mall in Amherst, Crossgates Mall in Albany and the Poughkeepsie Galleria.
If you haven’t entered a Teavana store before I’ll tell you, it’s stimulation overload. Between the brightly colored tins, intense tropical mash-ups, and numerous bowls of raw sugar, it’s the farthest thing from zen.
Starbucks first announced plans to purchase the fast growing tea retailer in 2012 for $620 million . The coffee giant hoped to shine a mainstream light on tea and introduce the traditional drink to a younger audience through flashy design and modern marketing campaigns. And to some extent it worked.
I can’t tell you the amount of times we’ve heard the word “Teavana” here in Good Life Tea, or had to explain to someone why we don’t carry such sugary concoctions as “Limeade Twist” or “Pineapple Kona Pop.” But for better or for worse, Teavana became a place for people to experiment with tea. For many, a Teavana sample at the mall was their first tea experience.
However even the best strategic marketing changes and aggressive sales tactics couldn’t combat the declining foot traffic in malls nationwide . Teavana stores are mostly found in declining, high-rent malls and have struggled to remain profitable over the years due to the rise of online sales.
"We felt it was an appropriate time to take the decision and begin shutting down those stores," Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson told the Associated Press. “We conducted a strategic review of the Teavana mall-based store business and concluded that despite our efforts to reverse the trend through creative merchandising and new store designs, the under performance was likely to continue.”
The most unfortunate part of it all is the 3,300 Teavana store employees who are now, or soon to be, out of jobs. Teavana employees will have the opportunity to apply for jobs at Starbucks locations, but I can't imagine there being enough openings for them all.
Teavana drinks will still be available in Starbucks and as bottled beverages and in grocery stores, but as for their loose leaf tea, it appears to be a thumbs down or relegated to a few lower shelves in their Starbucks coffee shops.
Wonder where you’ll turn to now for all your tea needs? We may not be the most convenient location for you, but here at Good Life Tea we have over 100 different kinds of loose leaf tea and tea in-store to sample! All of our teas are fresh, all natural and have no added sugar or preservatives.
So with Teavana on the fall, here’s some hopeful advice from us to keep your tea journey going: shop local and keep it zen.