It was almost five years ago that Starbucks paid $620 million to acquire mall tea chain Teavana, politely declining the $800 million tea tin upsell. 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.
The retail tea biz
Starbucks had also opened a few standalone Teavana-branded tea bars, but ended the experiment by converting these businesses into Starbucks cafes or closing them. Instead, Teavana products began to show up on the standard Starbucks menu, including an Oprah-endorsed chai and a piña colada-themed tea drink.
Starbucks will keep distributing Teavana drinks in grocery stores as well as selling the brand’s teas and brewed products in its cafes.
This is becoming a trend with Starbucks, which acquired the bakery La Boulange and began putting its baked goods in stores, later closing all of the chain’s standalone stores.
All the espresso in China
In the same earnings report where the company shared the Teavana news, it also said that it would be buying its entire business in China, buying the the other half of its business in that country from joint venture partners that own 50%. If you count that as an acquisition, it’s the company’s largest ever at $1.3 billion.