USA: Time to brew up at Starbucks “tea bar”
Signalling an intention to diversify beyond the confines of coffee, Starbucks has exploited its recent acquisition of tea retailer Teavana to launch its first “tea bar” in New York City.
The coffee giant previewed its latest venture with a demonstration of the concept including handcrafted teas, loose leaf tea, and tea-inspired foods, as well as the “unique tea bar”. Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer Howard Schultz stated: “As the second most consumed global beverage behind water, tea presents a $90 billion global market opportunity, and we are excited to celebrate the first retail example of how our two companies are coming together”.
According to Starbuck’s, the new venture offers an interactive experience for the customer, providing “touch points” for their hot, iced or loose leaf beverage and allowing customers to engage in and learn about the ritual and enjoyment of tea. The concept combines the strong in-store design of Starbucks with the customer experience of Teavana, the company added.
The “tea bar” concept will be rolled out to further stores of the next year, and will include the release of a “curated” loose leaf tea selection.
Teavana, a specialist tea retailer with over 300 tea emporiums across the USA, was acquired by Starbucks in November 2012.