Teavana’s corporate operations will move from Atlanta to Starbucks’ Seattle headquarters, Teavana president Annie Young-Scrivner said Thursday.
Ninety-nine people employed at the Atlanta location will be affected by the move, she said in an interview.
Some will relocate to the Starbucks building in SoDo, starting Oct. 1. Others will remain behind for one or two years, and others will be let go as their roles are eliminated.
The cross-country move comes as Starbucks seeks to turn its 2012 acquisition of Teavana, for which it paid $620 million in cash, into its main vehicle to pursue the market for the world’s second-most-consumed beverage after water.
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Tea, which is drunk throughout the day (as opposed to coffee, which is mainly a morning beverage in the U.S.) is also key to squeezing more revenue out of Starbucks’ existing footprint.
Being close to the command levers of Starbucks’ global resources will help in furthering these ambitions, said Young-Scrivner.
“As we expand in other markets and other challenges we believe this is the right move,” Young-Scrivner said.
Teavana has more than 350 mall stores in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Middle East, and tea bars in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle.
Young-Scrivner said the company is “definitely investigating” the China market, a country where Starbucks has lofty ambitions. She added that there’s also plenty of opportunity in “other channels,” a reference to items sold in grocery stores, a category Starbucks has been emphasizing in recent years.
A key challenge will be to retain Teavana’s identity while living deep in the coffee giant’s lair. Currently, visitors and employees walking into the Atlanta office can “smell tea,” Young-Scrivner said.
She added that Teavana will have a dedicated location within the Starbucks SoDo building. “All the partners will be together,” she said, using Starbucks’ official term for its employees.