The company's shares rose late today after the announcement.
For fans of Teavana, the chain of tea shops owned by Starbucks, you'd better stock up now before your favorite flavors of tea are gone for good. According to reports, Starbucks announced today that it will close all 379 of its Teavana locations. Additionally, the company also announced plans to buy the remaining 50 percent share of its East China business from its joint venture partners for about $1.3 billion in its biggest ever acquisition.
U.S. quick-service restaurants are currently locked in a bitter fight for market share, battling new competition from non-traditional rivals such as meal kit sellers and convenience stores. Even with the competition, though, sales at Starbucks' mainstay U.S. locations rose five percent in the latest quarter and traffic turned slightly positive.
This development reverses three straight quarters of declines that Starbucks attributed in part to changing its loyalty program to focus on dollars spent rather than the number of purchases customers make.
The past six months have been very active for the Starbucks corporation. During that time, Starbucks rolled out its new avocado spread, announced plans for a massive, multi-story location in Chicago, released a new drink that tastes like cream puffs and introduced a new summertime menu. The new menu includes a number of drinks, along with a plethora of food options, including a high-protein breakfast wrap with steak, egg, and tomatillo, a chicken and quinoa protein bowl and a vegan bowl with lentils, veggies and brown rice.
With the full acquisition of its Chinese businesses, it will be interesting to see if the brand continues its culturally unique food offerings, or homogenizes the menu to be more in line with the American wing.
While there is no word yet on what Starbucks will do with all of its left over Teavana tea, perhaps the company will start selling more Teavana products in their cafes. Either that or Boston Harbor is about to get a lot more caffeinated.