Simon Property Group, owner of shopping centers across the country including the Tacoma and Northgate malls, is suing Starbucks over the coffee company’s decision to close its Teavana stores.
Simon Property Group, owner of shopping centers across the country including the Tacoma and Northgate malls, is suing Starbucks over the closing of its Teavana stores.
Starbucks said last month that it will close all 379 of its Teavana retail stores. Many of those stores, located in malls in the U.S. and Canada, have been underperforming and would likely continue to do so, the coffee giant said of its decision to close most of the Teavana stores by next spring.
More than 70 of those stores are located in malls owned by Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, which filed a lawsuit Aug. 21 seeking to halt Starbucks from closing the stores, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.
In the suit, filed in Marion Superior Court in Indianapolis, Simon said only two of the Teavana leases at its malls expire before next spring, according to the Business Journal.
Furthermore, Simon contended that Starbucks’ decision to close its Teavana stores wasn’t because the stores are losing money or because the company is in financial jeopardy but because those stores aren’t doing well enough to satisfy Starbucks, the Business Journal reported.
Starbucks declined to say what its obligations, or any possible penalties, would be for pulling out of its leases early. A company spokesperson said only that “we are responding to the lawsuit and are working to resolve this dispute.”
There are six Teavana stores in the Puget Sound region; only the Tacoma Mall one is in a Simon shopping center.
Starbucks bought Teavana, which then had about 300 mall-based tea shops, for $620 million in 2012, intending to expand beyond malls.
As part of the decision to close all the Teavana stores, the Teavana.com online shop will also eventually be closed.
Teavana beverages will continue to be sold at Starbucks stores, and the brand’s bottled teas will continue to be sold in grocery stores