Starbucks is abandoning its plans to drown America in tea. The coffee giant announced today it will convert three of its five existing Teavana tea bar locations into Starbucks stores, including the first location that opened on New York City's Upper East Side in 2012. A Beverly Hills store will close altogether. Only one store, located in Seattle, will remain open.
A Chicago Teavana location shuttered last September after just a year and a half in business. Starbucks says Teavana generated nearly $1 billion in sales through its stores during the last fiscal year. Going forward, the company will "focus on new product innovation and elevating the Teavana tea experience through its Starbucks stores, reaching more customers with its expansive store footprint."
Employees of the doomed Teavana bars "are being treated with the utmost care" and will receive assistance to fine new positions at Teavana or local Starbucks stores.
As BuzzFeed News points out, "Starbucks once saw a massive future selling tea in the U.S." Now, CEO Howard Schultz's vision of the future seems focused on bringing coffee to the historically tea-drinking nation of China, where the company plans to open an additional 2,500 stores within the next five years.