Starbucks Corp. completed its acquisition of Atlanta-based Teavana Holdings Inc. this week, “promising to reinvent the way the world enjoys tea,” wrote Jeff Hansberry, Starbucks president of channel development and emerging brands, in a blog posted Monday.
The $620 million cash transaction was first revealed in November. The move makes the more than 300-unit Teavana retail chain a wholly-owned subsidiary of Seattle-based Starbucks.
Hansberry wrote that while some of Teavana’s product lineups may change, “most of the Teavana experience will stay the same and several new additions will be offered.”
One immediate change will be the addition of new Teavana stores outside malls in neighborhoods and on urban streets, he said.
The move outside malls has already begun. Last month, the first airport location of a Teavana outlet opened at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The tea chain also opened its first Middle Eastern location last year, in partnership with M.H. Alshaya, which also operates Starbucks units in the region.
Starbucks also has plans to add tea bars to Teavana stores that will serve handcrafted beverages. Some of those beverages may also be added to Starbucks stores in the future, Hansberry wrote.
Teavana was co-founded in 1997 by Andrew Mack, who will remain as chief executive, leading day-to-day operations.
The Teavana acquisitions is one of several Starbucks has made over the past two years. Earlier in 2012, the coffeehouse giant also acquired the La Boulange Bakery brand with the goal of upgrading food offerings at Starbucks stores. In 2010, Starbucks bought the Evolution Fresh juice brand.
Meanwhile, Starbucks is also continuing to tweak its Tazo Tea brand, which has new packaging. Last month, Starbucks opened its first Tazo retail store in Seattle, which Hansberry described as a “learning laboratory” that will help the company understand more about creating a retail tea experience, as well as what types of tea drinks customers would like to see from Starbucks.
Starbucks also said Thursday that it is planning to open its first location in Vietnam in February. The unit is planned for Ho Chi Minh City with long-term partner Hong Kong Maxim’s Group, whose subsidiary Coffee Concepts (Vietnam) Limited will operate the coffeehouse units there under a licensing agreement. Hong Kong Maxim’s Group operates more than 130 Starbucks units in Hong Kong and Macau.