Starbucks to close the Tazo Tea store – A Teavana store to replace it.
The Tazo Tea store (operated by Starbucks) will be closing this fall. If you have not had a chance to visit it, you should go soon – within the next month or so. It’s clear from Howard Schultz’s comments at the July 25, 2013, investor quarterly conference call, the Tazo Tea store will close. (You can stream these investor events on the investor relations page on Starbucks.com). I thought this entire segment discussing both La Boulange and Tazo was interesting – here is exactly what Howard said, verbatim:
In Q3, we significantly expanded our La Boulange baked-goods platform. Truly delicious and differentiated La Boulange-branded products are now available in over 1,000 Starbucks stores across Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. When you try La Boulange, you’ll understand why we’re seeing both an enthusiastic customer response and substantial lift in incrementality compared to the baked goods that La Boulange is replacing. And we are now on track to bring La Boulange food to more than 2,500 of our stores by the end of September, including stores in New York, Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles.
We are also deep into the strategic development and integration of Teavana. Tea, as we have shared with you before, is a 40-billion dollar global category. And we are leveraging all of our unique internal assets – including our knowledge in creating best-in-class retail experiences and handcrafted beverages – to create a premium tea experience for our customers, just as we have done for coffee.
You will see all of these strengths come together this fall, as we open our first re-imagined Teavana street-front store on New York City’s Upper East Side, and evolve the Tazo Tea concept store in Seattle under the Teavana brand. Over time, many unique hand-crafted Teavana tea beverages will also find their way in Starbucks stores.
While it doesn’t blare at you in that Howard Schultz quote above, it’s clear that the Tazo Tea concept store will close. He suggests that these changes -transforming the Tazo store to a Teavana store – will happen this fall – that’s right around the corner.
Goodbye Tazo Tea store. I will miss you! I loved the Tazo Tea store. The partners there were all fantastic. And I loved being able to buy so many rare Tazo teas available only at that store. I fell in love with Berry Blossom White as an iced tea. I adored being able to buy a sparkling Bramblewine Tazo Tea beverage. I expect by sometime in September the Tazo Tea store will close, and there will be construction and remodeling to turn it into a Teavana.
For those that don’t recall, the Tazo Tea store opened new November 16, 2012.
I dropped by the Tazo Tea store on Saturday, July 20, 2013, and took all the photos in this article. I hope you enjoy this trip to the Tazo store – please go visit soon if you can!
(I can imagine that the Tazo card will become much more collectible once the Tazo store closes. Check out this article for photos of the collectible subsidiary branded cards – Teavana, Tazo, and Evolution Fresh.)
Edit on July 27, 2013:
I dropped by the Tazo tea store this morning, shortly after it opened. I chatted with a partner about the changes, and ‘off the record’ he indicated that every Starbucks partner in the Tazo Tea concept store has been ‘invited to come work at the new Teavana store.’ For me, that is great news – the Tazo team is super friendly. I hope that the new Teavana store will carry forward the wonderful momentum started by the Tazo store’s current partners. I don’t know how much residual effect the Tazo store will have on the new Teavana store, but I am hopeful that the new Teavana store will set a high benchmark as a tea concept store. I’m going to start dreaming of sparkling Pineapple Kona Pop iced tea – a Teavana tea that I already know that I like.
That’s too bad. It will be interesting to see what the reimagined Teavana looks like. (Will you be heading to NYC this Fall Melody?).
Personally, I like the zen vibe of Teavana (even the meditator in the logo) but that may be too niche for Starbuck’s ambitions.
That’s too bad! The store always looks so gorgeous and crisp in the pics. I’m not as crazy about the inside of teavana but maybe their reimaging will help. Too bad I never got to got. Oh btw AZ got La Boulange pastries too! Including Tucson. But they got them in about 10 days after I left for TX. So heartbreaking! I didn’t realize how much I would miss AZ 🙁
@CD – I am not heading to NY. The threat of layoffs still looms at my work, though mostly people are talking about January 2014, after the “transition” phase is over…
I am really sad to see it go. It was, as Hayley described, gorgeous and crisp.
Oh, how I miss Berry Blossom White. Such a great iced tea.
Obviously, not being in Seattle I will not have the chance to see the store and I am really sad to see it go. I was hoping they would expand these stores to my area. Boo! I like Teavana but their stores do not match the Tazo store. I do not seem to get the same vibe you describe in the Tazo store that I get when I go to a Teavana store. We shall have to see but I feel like they are making a mistake. I also find it interesting that they are opening the NYC store on the upper east side. Not my first choice for location although I sort of understand the location.
@Purple1 – Sadly I can only agree with you! The Tazo store had its own kind of third place magic. I have never been in a Teavana store with that magic going on.
@Melody, do you think it was the design of the Tazo store or the people (or both)?
I think the current Teavana look is unique and fit them when they were niche, but now will have to change. When I mentioned vibe above, I was really speaking to the look.
As for the “feel” a lot of that came from the employees and their sales tactics and that was certainly not the most pleasant.
I always thought the Tazo store looked like anthropologie and while bland from a unique perspective, that was fine with me. What I always got from your posts was the big thing in the store was the people (they always do make the difference don’t they?)
CD – Maybe the design – at first glance – did appear too bland. But, the store partners were always very helpful in answering questions, and I really liked that store’s SM. She is a long-term partner. On the 20th, when I took the photos in this post, this guy came in – a customer – who has come visit Meggan (the SM) at every store she’s been at -just to say ‘hi.’ It was sweet. For me, as I often say, my interests are very much experiential as anything else. I like having a great experience. And the Tazo partners were amazing. I hope – I truly hope – Meggan will get to the SM of the new Teavana store.
I’m sad that I didn’t make it!! I like the Berryblossom tea and continue to buy the CPG version whenever I find it. This is very sad news. I do love that Howard said we may get some new and interesting Teavana drinks in store. I think that would be fun. I wish I could fly out, I thought maybe I could but now I’m buying a new house…
This makes me very sad
but i predicted they would roll the Tazo concept into teavanna after they purchased it so I am not surprised 🙁
I’m so disappointed to read this…I hope they repurpose the store into a reimagined Teavanna store. That seems logical from every vantage point. I am a Starbucks partner that drinks only tea. When we got our discount at Teavanna recently, I went back to see if anything felt different. Sadly, no. They barely acknowledged the fact that we were now “family”, but just waved their tea tin lids in my direction while hard selling me on everything starting with the most expensive tea in the store. I will not go back.
While I’m disappointed that the Tazo Store is closing, I’m very optimistic about its contributions to future Teavana stores. I always thought of the store as a concept store, and I can’t wait to see which of its fingerprints will be evident in Teavana.
amazonv i should get you something and send it with that next card!
i need to get up to this store, because personally, i dislike teavana in it’s current state.
Hi Melody, I think this store Tazo beautiful and gives a touch of Mysticism that surrounds this rich drink. sad to read this news.
I hope the mix with another brand of tea is a beautiful concept, you could say that for the largest number of stores Teavana is easier to get the client to open more stores Tazo.
I hope to read some more of this story and Tazo store before it closed and new photographs clearly see.
greetings from Guatemala.
I am so glad I got to see the Tazo store this week. It truly was amazing. I agree on part of the partners and beverages… Wonderful store. But let’s be excited for what is around the corner!
Awe I wished I could visit before it closes, I love teavana and the people who work there are really passionate about teas but tazo will surely be missed
Where will they be putting this new Teavana store?
Someone told me they were opening a new Teavana store near Camp Pendleton, CA.
But I cant find ANYTHING on it?
@Elly I miss the store that teavanna bought a lot, they do have some great teas, but he way they train their sales people kills what could be a great experience 🙁
So the thing I am wondering is if they are going to give Stabucks some Teavana drinks, is the Tazo brand going to disappear altogether? When I was in Teavana, it seemed that the flavor profile was quite different than Tazo and that the teas seemed to have a stronger flavor. So even if the Tazo name disappears, I hope they keep the basic types of teas in addition to Teavana. Maybe the classic Tazo varieties could be branded as “Tazo by Teavana”?
Marsh – If I had to guess, I would say that the Tazo brand will largely become a CPG brand. I think at some point (within the next year or 18 months?) we will see Teavana tea beverages in Starbucks – and, it would not surprise me to see some kind of sparkling tea beverage make its way into Starbucks. It’s something that has been through a number of rounds of testing. In fact, I think when the Teavana store opens up, replacing the Tazo store, I would predict it will have a larger beverage component than currently available at a Teavana. Just my guesses.
I walked pass the U. Village store yesterday around 6pm and the store was pretty empty. It’s sad since I love the decor than any Teavana store.
Sterling Della Robbia
Have you been back to this store since it has become Teavana? What was your experience? Did you recognize any of the old partners?
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Oh no! Sad face!