As part of a recent restructuring, a Canadian tea company is closing all of its U.S. locations, along with 82 stores in Canada.
DavidsTea, which first opened in Toronto in 2008, announced July 9 that it is implementing a restructuring plan under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. The company plans to transition its tea retail company into a predominantly online business, with lease terminations occurring within 30 days of July 9.
“With the upcoming closure of 124 unprofitable stores across North America, we are certainly making good progress in creating a stronger business model for the future and ensuring the long-term success and sustainability of DavidsTea and our beloved brand,” Herschel Segal, founder, chairman, and interim CEO of DavidsTea, said in a press release.
“For over 10 years, our sole purpose has been rooted in spreading ‘positivitea’ to tea lovers across North America, and this year, we’ve faced the challenging reality that COVID-19 is going to be more disruptive to our business than we originally anticipated,” the statement read. “We believe this is a necessary evolution for our company to better serve you, and are committed to being the leading tea experts for our tea loving community. You have long told us that we are your ‘happy place,’ and we will continue to share our passion for loose leaf tea while providing the customer experience you know and love — wherever we connect.”
The company shared that negotiations with landlords at the 100 remaining DavidsTea stores, which have all been closed since March 17, have already begun, and that the “outcome of these discussions remains uncertain.”
The restructuring plan will focus on emphasizing the company’s online retail business, as well as selling DavidsTea products in grocery stores and pharmacies. Gift cards are still being honored online, and DavidsTea noted that members of its Frequent Steeper program, which lets guests earn points, will be able to redeem their rewards on its website and, once they reopen, in stores.
There are currently two DavidsTea locations in Boston (298 Washington St. and 800 Boylston St.), as well as one in Cambridge (35 JFK St.) and one in Chestnut Hill (33 Boylston St.). Additional locations can be found in Hingham, Lynnfield, Natick, and Wrentham.