Tea giant closing store in Coquitlam's biggest mall permanently

Some Tri-Cities tea drinkers will have to go all the way to Vancouver for their favourite blends as one company has decided to keep closed its Coquitlam store.

DavidsTea Inc. will shrink its retail store network to 18 Canadian locations as the insolvent beverage chain shutters 82 more stores in the country while dealing with the impact of COVID-19.

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When contacted by the Tri-City News, DavidsTea said that none of its three Burnaby stores – at Lougheed, Brentwood and Metropolis at Metrotown – or its Coquitlam Centre store will reopen. Instead, the company chose Vancouver’s Pacific Centre as its lone B.C. outlet.

The Montreal-based company says it is sending out lease termination notices for the stores and expects them to be wound down within the next 30 days.

The move comes after DavidsTea closed 82 other stores in Canada and all 42 of its stores in the U.S. in early July to focus on its e-commerce business and supplying grocery stores and pharmacies.

The company said at the time that it would seek more favourable lease terms for the remaining 100 stores in Canada and may permanently shut additional locations if landlords are unwilling to negotiate suitable leases.

DavidsTea now says it was able to secure new, more favourable lease terms and conditions for 18 of its locations, which will reopen.

The company has obtained creditor protection under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) warned in mid-June that it could begin a formal restructuring depending on the outcome of its talks with landlords, who hadn't received rent from David's Tea for April, May and June.

"We believe that a select group of our best-performing stores, complementing our growing online and wholesale business model and supported by an entrepreneurial organization, will enhance DavidsTea's ability to emerge from the CCAA restructuring process as a more sustainable and resilient organization," stated company founder, chairman and interim CEO Herschel Segal.

The 18 stores are located in major shopping malls. Seven are in Quebec, five in Ontario and the rest in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and New Brunswick.

"Our decision to reopen these select stores is consistent with our objective to create a leaner, more efficient company, positioned for long-term growth."

- with files from the Canadian Press

 

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