Starbucks will morph three Teavana tea bars in New York into Starbucks stores and close the Beverly Hills location, abandoning a plan to expand beyond that brand’s tea stores with larger locations that also serve food.
Starbucks said Friday it will morph three Teavana tea bars in New York into Starbucks stores and close the Beverly Hills location after deciding instead to peddle Teavana beverages through its mainstream cafes.
But the Teavana tea bar in Seattle’s University Village, which opened in 2013, will remain open, the company said.
The tea bars, which also served high-end pastries and food, helped deepen Starbucks’ foray into the world of designer tea after it bought Teavana for $616 million in late 2012.
Starbucks says it’s still betting big on tea. The category is growing by double digits in North America, and is expected to become a $3 billion business over the next five years. And Teavana has more than 350 stores across the U.S. that focus on selling tea in bulk, but do not prepare any food or beverages.
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Nevertheless, the move seems to point to a refocusing of Starbucks on its core brand, at least as far as retail locations are concerned.
Last year it closed several La Boulange bakeries and cafes in California, which came with the upscale bakery brand it had bought in 2013.
Evolution Fresh, a juice company Starbucks also acquired in 2011 and intended to develop as a retail concept, has only three locations, all in the Seattle area.